Coordinator: Marco Gui
L’uso dei media, nella enorme varietà delle sue forme emerse in seguito alla rivoluzione digitale, e` sempre piu` pervasivo nelle vite degli individui. In particolare, l’ampiezza delle possibilità d’uso delle nuove tecnologie, unita alla disponibilità costante di dispositivi personali connessi in Rete, per molte persone sta rendendo l’uso dei media una pratica quasi universale nella vita quotidiana. Solo per fare qualche esempio, sempre di più oggi ci si forma con i media, si trova lavoro tramite essi, si prendono decisioni sulla base di informazioni lì reperite, si gestiscono relazioni importanti nel mondo sociale e si gestisce e difende la propria reputazione. I teorici della cosiddetta “disuguaglianza digitale” hanno ipotizzato che tale pervasività stia rendendo l’uso dei media un fattore sempre più rilevante per le opportunità conoscitive, relazionali e professionali delle persone. Sempre di più, tale situazione sta ponendo agli scienziati sociali quesiti relativi all’impatto delle diverse pratiche d’uso dei media e delle loro diverse modalità di appropriazione sulla qualità di vita delle persone.
La ricerca su questi temi è cresciuta negli ultimi anni all’interno del Centro, con tre ricerche finanziate dal 2009 ad oggi (vedi “Precedenti esperienze..”). Queste ricerche hanno riguardato il rapporto tra il consumo dei media e soddisfazione ottenuta e , più in generale, l’uso dei nuovi media da parte dei giovani e le relative problematicità. Partendo da qui si propone di istituire un nuovo filone di ricerca dedicato all’impatto dei media sulla qualità della vita delle persone che possa affrontare i seguenti macrotemi:
1) Impatto dell’uso dei media sulla vita quotidiana e sulle traiettorie di vita
2) I meccanismi della scelta nel consumo dei media
3) Nuovi media e formazione
4) Politiche pubbliche per l’uso consapevole dei media
5) Indicatori della qualità della vita in relazione all’uso dei media
Il filone di ricerca dovrà da un lato favorire la nascita di nuovi gruppi di ricerca intorno a progetti sui temi sopracitati, dall’altro organizzare workshop e incontri in modo da rendere il Centro un interlocutore primario in questo campo per comunità scientifica e committenti di ricerche.
- Gui, M. (2016). Le trasformazioni della disuguaglianza digitale tra gli adolescenti: evidenze da tre indagini nel Nord Italia, Quaderni di Sociologia, (69), 33-55.
Based on unique datasets collected by the author in three northern italian regions’ schools (˜8000 students), the article describes how youth’s family background currently relates to their Internet use practices. The results show that nowadays the only indicators that show a linear relationship with social stratification are the use of the Internet for in-depth information searching and the breadth of Internet uses carried out frequently. Other variables such as the use of social networking sites, production of online content, gaming and the time spent online seem to have become widespread irrespectively of young people’s social origins. A third set of variables, concerning how pervasive the use of one’s smartphone is in social and personal life, shows an inverse relationship with social stratification: those that are more advantaged show a lower pervasiveness. Therefore, today the digital profile of students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds is characterized by a low level of information searching, low breadth of Internet uses and high pervasivity of mobile devices. On the one hand, this poses a challenge to traditional digital inequality theory; on the other, it calls for critical education interventions to prevent addictive behaviours.
- Pagani L. Argentin G., Gui M., e Stanca L. (2016), The Impact of Digital Literacy on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Performance Tests, Educational studies .
Digital skills are increasingly important for labour market outcomes and social participation. Do they also matter for academic performance? This paper investigates the effects of digital literacy on educational outcomes by merging data from the Italian National Assessment in secondary schools with an original data-set on performance tests of Internet skills for tenth-grade students. Our identification strategy relies on a rich set of individual, family, school and classroom control variables that are not commonly available in previous studies. The findings indicate that, overall, Internet skills have a positive impact on academic achievement. This effect is stronger for students with low academic performance or low family background. It is also stronger for students in technical or vocational schools.
- Gui M., Micheli M. e Tamanini C. a cura di (2015), I media digitali nella vita dei sedicenni delle scuole del Trentino: usi e competenze, IPRASE del Trentino, ISBN: 978-88-7702-371-1, URL http://community.formazionescuolatrentina.it/j/file_iprase/attachs/292.pdf;
- Gui M. (2014), A dieta di media. Comunicazione e qualità della vita, Bologna, Il Mulino, ISBN 978-88-15-25050-6;
Work, study, leisure, information: via computers, television, smart phones and tablets, every day we spend an enormous amount of time looking at a screen. In the digital era does there exist a real danger of “media obesity”, similar to the one involving excessive food intake? The author develops this analogy and identifies four potential remedies: curbing consumption, choosing higher quality content and relationships, avoiding the perils of multi-tasking and attention loss, and carefully managing the off-line/on-line balance of personal relationships.
- Gui M., Micheli M. e Fiore B. (2014), Is the Internet creating a learning gap among students?, Italian Journal of Sociology of education 6 (1), pp. 1-24;
The notion of a digital divide between Internet haves and have-nots has now evolved into the broader concept of digital inequality. Based on this framework, people get greater or fewer opportunities from Internet use according to their cultural, social and professional resources. However, empirical research has focused mainly on the description of Internet usage between different social groups, without testing whether these differences actually translate into social inequalities. In this study we use learning outcomes as a proxy for high-school students’ future social opportunities. Using the Italian dataset of the PISA 2009 survey we test whether students from advantaged social backgrounds gain more benefits from Internet use than their less privileged counterparts. The results show that using the Internet for schoolwork does not prove to have different impacts on students’ learning outcomes depending on their social background. The challenges of these results for theories of digital inequality are discussed.
- Stanca L., Gui M. e Gallucci M. (2013), Attracted but Unsatisfied: The Effects of Sensational Content on Television Consumption Choices, Journal of Media Economics, 26 (2), 82-97;
This article investigates experimentally the effects of sensational content on viewing choices and satisfaction in television consumption. The authors found that the presence of verbal violence in one program causes subjects to watch more of that program. However, subjects do not experience higher satisfaction with the program. In addition, they report lower satisfaction with the overall viewing experience. These findings are robust to the use of different program types for the experimental manipulation. Overall, the results pose a challenge to the use of audience figures as a measure of enjoyment or satisfaction.
- Argentin G., Gui M. e Tamanini C. (2013), A scuola di competenza digitale. Il ruolo degli insegnanti nell’uso delle ICT degli studenti, Scuola Democratica (Il Mulino), 1 (1);
This article explores the association between the way teachers make use of digital media in the classroom and the level of digital skills of students. Analysis draws upon unique data coming from a survey carried out in Trentino in 2008, about the behavior of teachers with ICT and the level of digital competence of about 1,000 students from ninth grade. The results show that there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between teachers’ behaviour and students’ digital competence. These results suggest that teachers’ attitudes towards digital media constitute an area of intervention for the promotion of digital competence among young people in schools
- Gui M, a cura di (2013), Indagine sull’uso dei nuovi media tra gli studenti delle scuole superiori lombarde, Regione Lombardia, ISBN: 9878890064265, URL http://www.lavoro.regione.lombardia.it/shared/ccurl/733/622/REPORT_Indagine_Bicocca.pd
- Gui M. e Stanca L. (2009), Attratti ma insoddisfatti. Perché continuiamo a guardare la TV, Consumatori Diritti e Mercato, 1, pp. 91-103;
Da alcune recenti ricerche emerge che il consumo di televisione – e più in generale dei media – è caratterizzato da una contraddizione tra l’attrattività che esercita sugli utenti e il benessere che essi ne ricavano. I sistemi di rilevamento degli ascolti, come l’Auditel, portano a premiare i programmi che massimizzano l’attrattività immediata dei contenuti, a prescindere dalla soddisfazione dei consumatori, sebbene essa venga misurata giornalmente da ricerche i cui dati sono tenuti segreti. È saggio porre rimedio al sovraconsumo di Tv.
Work in progress
- Argentin G., Gui M., Pagani L. Comi S., Origo F., (submitted to Economics of education review). Is it the way they use it? Teacher, ICT and student achievement
We provide evidence on whether ICT-related teaching practices affect student achievement. We use a unique student-teacher dataset containing variables on very specific uses of computer and ICT by teachers matched with data on national standardized tests for 10th grade students. Our identification strategy relies on a within-student between-subject estimator and on a rich set of teacher’s controls. We find that computer-based teaching methods increase student performance if they help the teacher to obtain material to prepare lectures, if they channel the transmission of teaching material, if they increase students’ awareness in ICT use and if they enhance communication. Instead, we find a negative impact of practices requiring an active role of the students in classes using ICT. Our findings suggest that the effectiveness of ICT at school depends on the actual practice that teachers make of it and on their ability to integrate ICT into the teaching process.
- Gui M, Parma A., Comi S., (submitted to Computers and Education). Investments in ICT and learning performance. An analysis on Italian panel data
In this paper we provide a detailed and robust estimation of the impact of three different digital technologies (IWBs, wireless connections and mobile devices) on Italian language and mathematics in Italian lower secondary schools. Our dataset offers longitudinal data in three different academic years for the universe of lower secondary schools in Italy, in the period 2010-2014. The results show that, at the national level, no significant effects emerge from the increase of any of the three technologies considered, in this confirming the literature. However, when splitted by geographical area, data show that positive effect have been exerted by all three technologies on mathematics results in the North of Italy while on the contrary a detrimental effect emerges in the South. Further analyses show that the positive effect found in the North is driven by low attaining schools while the negative impact emerging for the South is driven by highest attaining schools. No effects are found on Italian language performance except a slightly positive impact on lowest achieving schools in all geographical areas. In the conclusion, the meaning of these results are discussed with regards to future public intervention and future research in this field.
- Gui M., Shanahan J. e Stanca L., (in preparation). Surfing in Funland: Digital overabundance, media consumption and choice satisfaction
In media studies, the reasons why people expose themselves to mediated content have been extensively studied and theoretically described. However, recent developments in the digital media environment have made impulsive choices more frequent and relevant in media consumption. This is due to the greater amount of “within reach” options, the easiness of task-switching, and the attraction represented by so-called “clickbait” content. As observed in other consumption domains, the immediate availability of seductive options increases individuals’ tendency to act impulsively, in ways that do not necessarily correspond to their declared evaluations and goals. On the basis of the existing empirical evidence, this article argues that similar paradoxical behaviors have also been found in media consumption and that they are enhanced by features of the digital environment. We review the main theories of media choice, highlighting the theoretical gaps that still exist when trying to explain this phenomenon. Finally, a theoretical proposal is offered, based on the role of sensational content, whose attraction power increases as overabundance increase. Sensational content in overabundant environments can explain an inverse relationship between attraction for media content and the gratification outcomes it produces. The theoretical and policy implications of this perspective are discussed in the conclusions.