The Future of the Self: Understanding Personalization in Childhood and Beyond

Natalia Kucirkova
University of Stavanger, Norway

Product Details
01 Feb 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
296 pages - 138 x 216mm
In a time of automated personalized ads, artificially intelligent social robots, and smart devices in the homes of millions, it has become critically important to understand the impact of our digitized selves - especially upon our younger generations. When children as young as three can take their own selfies, and customise their own avatars, how should we respond to the opportunity and threat of digital personalization for young children? 

Tracing thematic links between trends that are often addressed separately, and drawing on multidisciplinary research evidence, Kucirkova offers a comprehensive account of the effects of digitally-mediated personalization on children’s development of 'self'. Looking to the future, she provides a balanced account of the positives and negatives of personalisation against the backdrop of broader societal trends, such as globalisation/localisation, (de)centralisation of services and communication. Providing critical thinking tools, Kucirkova challenges us to understand the profound implications that the personal data economy and network-based technologies might have played in our own understanding of ourselves and each other.
Chapter 1. Personalization-Pluralization
Chapter 2. Quantity and complexity
Chapter 3. Agency
Chapter 4. Acceleration
Chapter 5. Density
Chapter 6. Sequence
Chapter 7. Distance
Natalia Kucirkova is Professor of Early Childhood Education and Development at the University of Stavanger, Norway and Professor of Reading and Children’s Development at The Open University, UK. Natalia’s research concerns innovative ways of supporting children’s book reading, digital literacy, and exploring the role of personalisation in the early years.
'An astonishing amount of information for educators, other professionals and parents on almost every aspect of technology’s impact on children’s development of "self" and sense of agency. Dr Kucirkova has written a powerful book about the growing impact of technology induced personalization on children and our collective future. The book contains rich information to how children learn that is embedded in context including social science, child development, philosophy and literature. A must read!' - Barry Zuckerman MD, Boston University School of Medicine, USA

'Anyone concerned about the impact of technology on their life and the lives of children should rush to read this book. This book will motivate teachers, parents, designers, policy makers, and users of technology to re-examine the implications of personalization in their lives. Drawing on technological advances, research findings, and theoretical insights Kucirkova identifies trade-offs, dilemmas, and paradoxes that deserve our attention. The book gives readers tools for thinking about the interacting factors determining how experiences are personalized. In one example, Kucirkova identifies the trade-offs that ensue when balancing personalization targeted to the individual and pluralization targeted to the overall audience. This distinction arises every time teachers make decisions about whether to assign the same book to their class or to let each student select their own book.' - Marcia C. Linn, Evelyn Lois Corey Professor of Instructional Science, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, USA

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