Young people’s social media practices in Greece
: developing identities online and shaping future aspirations

  • Myrto Nikolopoulou

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Social media platforms and the implications of their use for young people and education has become an area of research which has gradually attracted increased interest and is still expanding.
The present study explores the online social media practices of young people (14-17 years old) living and studying in Athens (Greece) in order to investigate how these practices relate to the development of their identities and future aspirations. Specific attention is placed on investigating how these practices vary in relation to young people’s social locations (such as gender, social class background and ethnicity). The research process follows a mixed-methods design by using both quantitative and qualitative research methods including: 1) a questionnaire of 463 young people, and 2) follow-up semi-structured interviews with a sample of 45 questionnaire participants.
The research findings suggest that young people engage in a variety of communicational, informational and creative practices on social media platforms. Social media constitute a space where they navigate relationships and express themselves. Thus, their social media practices relate directly to their everyday experiences which contribute to the shaping of their identities. In addition, it is argued that patterns of future aspirations are shaped by structural forces related to young people’s social locations. However, it is also suggested that social media engagement is associated with the development of individualised discourses of future aspirations which minimise the influence of structural inequalities.
Several associations have been identified between social media practices and participants’ gender, type of school, level of parental education and ethnikotita. Thus, it is argued that social locations frame young people’s social media practices and the ways these relate to the development of their identities and future aspirations. The present study’s contribution lies in discussing the complexities of young people’s engagement with social media platforms in relation to their social context.
Date of Award23 Sept 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorMarie-Pierre Moreau (Supervisor) & Billy Wong (Supervisor)


  • Youth
  • Social media
  • Aspirations
  • Identity
  • Education
  • Mixed-methods research

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