Radical Change Theory: Framework for Empowering Digital Youth

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Eliza T. Dresang influenced numerous researchers and professionals by equipping them to understand and better serve digital youth. This paper revisits her theory of Radical Change, which explains the synergistic combination of changing resources and youth in the digital age. The presented research applies and extends the theory by investigating the information behavior of digital youth. The study has two phases —Phase 1: content analysis of research literature; Phase 2: group and individual interviews with young adults who are members of an online community called Scratch. Selected findings illustrate the ways in which digital youth have an increased sense of control over learning, creative, and social aspects of their life. The study demonstrates that Radical Change theory provides a unique perspective to ferret out the potential of non-traditional information behaviors. The theory continues to be a tool for enhancing a sense of agency for digital youth by increasing their capacity to learn, create, and socialize. Future research applying the theory could explore how the dynamic interactions between changing resources and youth may have an impact on youth obtaining twenty-first-century skills.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015

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