Research Talk by A/P Lim Sun Sun

Just fight. Nobody died. Everybody is safe.

Reflections on studying youth, media and delinquency


Date & time:

Wed, 25 Jan, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM


CNM Playroom, AS6, #03-38

11 Computing Drive

Singapore 117416

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

National University of Singapore

Google Map:



In this talk, I share my motivations for and experience of studying media use by an under-studied and marginalised youth population – juvenile delinquents and youths-at-risk – reflecting on the challenges I encountered at various stages of the research process. I will also present key findings relating to the relationship between media use and delinquency, notably, that fraternisation with delinquent peers and the mobilisation of friends for fights or substance abuse sessions seem to be facilitated by mobile phone and Internet connections. In addition, digital connections and participatory media appear to amplify negative peer influence and significantly, youths who try to make a clean break from their delinquent past find it challenging to make a fresh start in life given the persistence of their social networks. Whereas the dominant discourse on participatory media and Singaporean youth is that of the empowered self-learner who uses blogs and social networking sites in academically and socially productive ways, the experience of youths caught in the throes of delinquency and crime suggests engagement in participatory media that is potentially risky. For youths-at-risk, participatory media can become a platform through which they are unwittingly drawn into criminal behaviour, and post-rehabilitation, participatory media may offer an insidious route to recidivism.


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