‘MYBus’: Young People's Mobile Health, Wellbeing and Digital Inclusion

Bjorn Nansen, Kabita Chakraborty, Lisa Gibbs, Colin MacDougall, Frank Vetere

Abstract


As part of an ethnographic study researching the role of information and communication technology use in mediating young people’s social inclusion in an outer urban growth area of Melbourne, Australia, this paper reports on a case study of a community mobile youth centre, named MYBus. The MYBus is a converted passenger coach that operates as a mobile youth centre for young people aged 12-25. It aims to provide young people with up-to-date youth-specific information and resources, especially access to health and wellbeing information and services. The bus has been fitted with laptop computers, Internet access, Wii games, D.J. console and other gaming devices to support this engagement.

 

This paper examines how the aggregation of digital media on MYBus not only has direct healthcare benefits, but also enables a broader approach to young people’s wellbeing by providing resources for digital access and participation. In particular, the mobilisation of these technologies operates to redress geographic and socioeconomic inequities for young people living on the urban fringe. We discuss this digital inclusion through research findings related to young people’s digital access, mediation, and mobility in the use of the MYBus technologies. This empirical work is situated theoretically by connecting this mobile digital inclusion with literature on young people’s social capital, to develop the concept of children’s e-mobility capital.


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The Journal of Community Informatics. ISSN: 1712-4441