Unboxing Childhood: Risk and Responsibility in the Age of YouTube

  • Julie C. Garlen Carleton University
  • Sarah L. Hembruff Carleton University
Keywords: childhood, media, YouTube, discourse, moral panic


In this article, we look to viewer responses to James Bridle’s TED Talk on children’s YouTube to learn about the discursive landscape of childhood in the digital age. We first situate concerns about children’s use of YouTube within a history of moral panic and then conduct a thematic analysis of online comments to discover what viewers identify as the central concerns. We “unbox” three emergent themes of responsibility—corporate, parental, and societal—to understand how these themes might help us think about contemporary discourses of childhood “at risk,” critical media literacy, and children’s agency as social actors on the Internet.


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How to Cite
Garlen, J. C., & Hembruff, S. L. (2021). Unboxing Childhood: Risk and Responsibility in the Age of YouTube. Journal of Childhood Studies, 46(2), 78-90. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs462202119934
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