The Role of Social Media in the Facilitation of Complex Discourses Between Young Adult Author and Reader

  • Author / Creator
    MacCallum, Bethany M
  • This study examines the use of social media by Young Adult (YA) authors Scott Westerfeld and John Green and young adults to determine whether social media facilitates discourses of complex themes in YA literature. Related literature demonstrates the potential benefits of social media to help students develop critical thinking skills by introducing direct student/author interaction; however, there is a lack of empirical studies that observe these direct student/author relationships. Content analysis was used to observe and analyse 455 tweets, 555 blog posts, and 81 YouTube videos by Westerfeld and Green produced during the period of September 2012 to March 2013. Qualitative analysis was employed to analyse 14 interviews with participants between the ages of 11 and 17. The results indicated that while these three social media tools did facilitate direct author/reader engagement, this engagement can only take place if young adults are social media users. Interviews revealed that while social media usage was not prevalent with these participants due to internet safety issues, they would consider using social media to engage with authors in a controlled setting.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Library and Information Studies
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.