An Ethnographic Inquiry on Internet Cafés within the Context of Turkish Youth Culture

Mustafa Koc, Karen Ann Ferneding
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Abstract


Contemporary studies have become interested in determining transformative effects of information and communication technologies on youngstersâ social and cultural identity developments. Internet cafés are techno-social spaces where people access to digital media and interact with global cultural flows. Such interactions are profound because they fundamentally challenge diverse locality and traditional values. In this paper, we reports the findings of ethnographic research study as a part graduate thesis project about Internet cafés in Turkey. Our purpose was to find out how Internet cafés are being used by Turkish youth and how these sites affect their social, cultural, and educational experiences. We conducted intensive observations in three Internet cafés and semi-structured interviews with four college students. The results show that Internet cafés are being used mostly by male youngsters mostly for entertainment and communication purposes. Internet café usage are closely related to the emergence of techno-consumerist youth culture or lifestyle. This suggests that technology is more than a simple and neutral instrument that constitutes complex social and cultural dimensions which may involve profound alterations for people lives.

Keywords


Internet cafés, Cyberspace, Global media, Youth development, Socialization

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