Tadamasa KIMURA - Professor, Department of Cultural Anthropology, University of Tokyo
The term “digital native” was coined at the turn of the century and it has drawn much attention and stimulated discussions about who digital natives are and the concept itself. Digital natives are usually defined as those born in 1980s and later, who are also called “Y Generation,” “Net Generation,” “Millennials,” “Eco Boomers,” and so on. Kimura’s research has paid much attention to varieties or diversities “within” Japanese digital natives, rather than to differences between natives and immigrants. Using an analytical framework based on the finding that technologies, institutions, regulations, norms, incentives, and socio-cultural factors all contribute to develop the techno-socio-cultural complex, Kimura explores how Japanese youth use the internet in their daily lives and communicate online via different media, such as texting, BBS, blogging, SNS and so on, to develop social relationships. This lecture will discuss the framework that Kimura developed to study the formative process of digital natives, and the four characteristics of socio-cultural communicative practice it reveals.
Tadamasa Kimura has been engaged in research on digital natives since 2007, and during the course of his research, has made in-detph interviews of more than a hundred Japanese digital natives. This led to his most recent publication, “The Age of Digital Natives: Why Do They Tweet and Not Send Mail?” (in Japanese, 2012, Heibonsha).