Deconstructing the Net Generation Thesis

Rolf Schulmeister


Several American and Canadian authors have stated that children born after 1980 have a common relationship to digital media and have labeled them Net Generation or digital natives. They have charac-terized the so-called digital natives with a number of attributes that constitute a generation. This paper tries to deconstruct the Net Gen-eration thesis by sketching a sequence of arguments used to decon-struct the digital natives thesis and by explaining the structure of the discourse. This paper is aiming at the methodology of argumentation, trying to abstract the logical hierarchy and sequence of thoughts that led to a refutation of the Net Generation hypothesis. An extensive study of more than 70 empirical surveys, including two surveys by the author, has been published elsewhere.

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