Making place with mobile media: young people’s blurred place-making in regional Australia

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This paper investigates young people living in a regional Australian town and explores the ways that they negotiate place-making using mobile media. Australia has been characterised as a country of vast distances, and young people living in rural and regional areas are at the centre of narratives that position digital technologies as enablers or disruptors. This paper puts such deterministic discourses aside to focus on the ways place is made by young people living outside the city according to their own perspectives and experiences. Focus groups with 62 participants aged 16–28 years pointed to many of those in-the-background place-making practices and signalled the near seamless way that making places was simultaneously done online as well as in material, face-to-face contexts. The forms of place made by the young people of this study comprised a range of elasticised neighbourhoods and public spaces that were materially anchored, though extended digitally through territorially embedded socialities and shared locational information. Regional geographies retained their meaning, though traditional constraints could be renegotiated to reflect youthful relationships with local place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-141
Number of pages18
JournalMobile Media & Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • mobile media
  • place-making
  • regional towns
  • young people

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