In the last years, scholars have begun trying to investigate the role played by social networks as tools for an informal approach to education. In this direction, the so called “influencers” are seen by young people not only as distributors of entertainment pills, but also, in many cases, as references for inspiring consumptions, values, lifestyles and also to build knowledge. Based on 294 auto-ethnographic reports provided by young people between the ages of 20 and 23, the research presents findings about what are the most relevant educational topics covered by the influencers and the reasons why young people considered them influential from an educational point of view. Through the analysis of the reports, that provided reflections on 513 influencers, some interesting findings can be highlighted on the potential of influencers as informal educators, specifically able at inspiring and nurturing socio-emotional learning and “life skills”.Some traits seem to characterize the informal educational approach of the influencers: authenticity, attainability, humor and self-deprecation. They bring together aspirational self and aestheticization of failure, thus inspiring, for young people, continuous development in an amusing and unusual key. The research also introduces some of the frailties and contradictions of these educational models for the younger generations.
Life Long/Insta-Learning: the Use of Influencers as Informal Educators
Taddeo G. (2023) "Life Long/Insta-Learning: the Use of Influencers as Informal Educators " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 15(2), 147-167. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2023-2-8
Year of Publication
Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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