It is widely recognised today that we live in a ‘globalized media world’, yet few researchers are trained to study the complexities this involves. Young people around the world today have significantly greater access to globalised media and to technologies. This development challenges some of the theoretical and methodological assumptions of earlier research on youth, culture, education and digital media and technologies use. This collaborative research endeavour will explore these crucial issues, consider current and future directions for research on media use by youth across the globe, and address issues of how to use digital media and technologies in order to facilitate learning and intercultural understanding. This interdisciplinary international research staff exchange will thus contribute to new knowledge and understandings of a very complex issue that has major implications for Europe and the whole world. It will be highly beneficial to the researchers, greatly expanding their possibilities to contribute to socially responsible cutting-edge research in Europe as well as in Brazil, Russia and India with regard to media and youth.

The exchange will concern the social, cultural, historical, media-analytical, psychological and educational dimensions of digital media practices with a focus on the devices that are used for capturing, editing and circulating video data. It will apply inter-disciplinary perspectives and knowledge to analyse how these digital media and technologies practices are shaped by and shape today’s global youth. Solid research synergies between German and Indian traditions of anthropological and sociological youth research, British scholarship in media analysis, Greek and Brazilian educational and youth research and Russian learning theories will be constructed more fully and creatively. Moreover, the methodological contribution of the project is very important. One of the main project aims is to develop an innovative methodology for the interdisciplinary and comparative/cross-cultural study of emerging digital media and technologies practices and constellations with special attention to the voices and perspectives of the young people involved in research.

With its focus on marginalized urban youth populations, DIGIT-M-ED addresses directly the following issues which are of high priority both as seen from a European perspective and on global level: 1) media and competitiveness in a knowledge society, 2) media, youth policies and social exclusion, 3) global interdependence and transfer of knowledge through media use, 4) well-being of democracies and political participation, and 5) promoting sensitization to cultural diversity and social justice through media. The transferred knowledge will thus be an important resource for educational policy makers, legal institutions, non-government organisations, web-designers and teachers[1].

By bringing together some of the world’s leading senior researchers with talented early career scholars from Europe, Brazil, India and Russia, DIGIT-M-ED will offer advanced training in innovative approaches and research methodologies; will enhance the understanding of emerging digital media and technologies practices; and strengthen quantitatively and qualitatively the human potential in research focusing on the specific processes of media use in the everyday lives of young people across diverse cultural contexts. On long term basis: the exchange will be a terrain for the early career researchers to acquire and reinforce research management and methodological skills, global thinking and intercultural understanding and acquire additional competencies necessary to interdisciplinary cross-cultural research. These skills will enable the early career researchers from the different countries to establish solid leadership positions and maintain/ further develop lasting research collaboration.

At the same time, DIGIT-M-ED also creates opportunities for long-lasting collaborations among world’s leading research centres such as the London Institute of Education, the Free University Berlin and more peripheral – but outstanding – universities such as the University of Crete, the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil as well as the Jawaharlal Nehru University. In this way, the proposed IRSES supports the development of periphery (European and global) and concomitantly promotes European traditions of theory and research. Moreover, DIGIT-M-ED aims to provide the framework for the development of joint postgraduate training and/or project-related exchanges of young researchers (especially through already existing structures such as the INTER-ART Graduate School at Berlin, the Summer University of Cultural-Historical Psychology at Moscow, the London Lab – which are led by the involved professors mentioned above).

[1] Cf. Kress, G. (2000). A curriculum for the future. Cambridge Journal of Education, 30(1), 133-145.