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Algorithms and Literacies: Young people's understanding and society's expectations

This project investigates how different ways of conceptualising internet algorithms, their effects and how to deal with them shape the understanding of and engagement with information in contemporary society.

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This is addressed by providing (a) a mapping of which actors in Swedish society (e.g. organisations, companies, public authorities, politicians, debaters, bloggers, YouTubers, editorial writers, etc.) talk about critical assessment of sources (källkritik) and related notions as well as an in-depth analysis of the expectations these actors express in these as means to address challenges related to the invisible algorithms that regulate how information spreads, is produced and appears on the Internet and (b) empirically grounded knowledge of late adolescents’ understandings of internet algorithms that govern how information circulates and is shaped on the Internet.

Special attention is paid to the roles schools and libraries are assigned in the public discourse and to how late adolescents' out-of school and in-school experiences influence each other. To achieve this a mixed methods approach is used combining joint interviews with 50 17-18 year olds, follow-up questions, field notes and interpretative content analysis with different digital tools for data collection, quantitative content analysis, visualisation of link networks. The project employs a posthumanist sociomaterial approach and unites critical algorithms studies with media- and information literacy research.

External researchers

  • Olof Sundin, Lunds universitet


Research Groups