Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Risk taking, boundary performance and intentional school internet "misuse"

Hope, Andrew (2007) Risk taking, boundary performance and intentional school internet "misuse". Discourse, 28 (1). pp. 87-99. ISSN 0159-6306

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Whilst the association of risk with schools is predominately a negative one, fostering images of potential dangers, this paper draws upon a socio-cultural counter-discourse to explore the perceived benefits of certain risk taking activities within educational establishments. Using research data on school Internet “misuse” it is argued that some students benefit from engaging in boundary performance. This can be seen as a type of risky behaviour involving low level dangers that offer an escape from tedious routine through public displays of temporarily traversing boundaries. Furthermore, it is maintained that such activity may be a central element in identity construction. It is concluded that the concept of boundary performance has wider applications than merely explaining certain school Internet “misuse”, potentially helping practitioners and policy-makers to think more creatively about the educational process as well as offering insights into other “problematic” behaviour.

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