New materialist analyses of virtual gaming, distributed violence, and relational aggression

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Concerns about children’s and teenager’s use of computer games and their access to films with a high level of violence,
coupled with concerns about the possible transfer of aggression from media to children are widespread. However, the
question is whether aggression among children and youth necessarily stems from one clear point of origin. This article uses
Karen Barad’s agential realist conceptualizations of intra-active enactment of material-discursive phenomena together with
Judith Butler’s poststructuralist conceptualizations to look at a study focused on this issue. Thinking with these theories
and interviews with two boys aged 9 and 11 about their everyday lives in and outside of schools, I investigate where
violence and aggression move in children’s everyday lives, how flows of violence and aggression intra-act, and what feeds
into them. I further discuss which kinds of aggression become objects of adult concern and which remain out of focus. In
these analyses, I argue that new materialist theory is especially helpful in thinking about the many intra-acting forces in the
enactment of children’s and youth’s lives and that analytical attention to the intra-action of virtual aggression as part of a
comprehensive apparatus of production brings complexity to the analyses and produces new, surprising, and more useful
knowledge about this issue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Pages (from-to)162-172
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Agential Realism-New Materialism, Mobning

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