More Inclusion through Participation?
About the Access, Interaction and Participation on Social Network Sites of Young People with Mild Intellectual Disabilities
Due to their high user number, social network sites can be regarded as a public sphere and should be accessible to all democratic citizens. Nevertheless, there are some underrepresented social groups such as people with mild intellectual disabilities. This qualitative study investigates how young people with mild intellectual disabilities in Germany access, interact and participate on social network sites. Therefore, we conducted 8 qualitative interviews with young people with mild intellectual disabilities (and their caregivers, n=7) and analyzed the transcribed interviews with an inductive qualitative content analysis technique. Our participants described various ways of accessing, interacting and participating online (e.g., sharing their own content). Furthermore, our participants gathered both positive (e.g., gaining new friends) and negative (e.g., hate speech) experiences there. Moreover, our results give information about aspects of social network sites that should be altered so that a positive social change based on the inclusion principle can take place.
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