Revealing intimacy through digital media
To conduct fruitful research into intimacy, young people and digital media, it is necessary to move beyond the reductive question of whether sex in media is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, avoiding a deterministic approach and focusing instead on media practices that are shaped by a drive to make sense of media and sexual cultures. We regard intimacy as a relational concept that can be redefined in research practice and seek to problematise what it means to share intimacy during research. In this chapter, we want to translate this approach into instruments which can be used to work on intimacy, young people and digital media in a way that places the participants themselves at the centre of research and recognises their agency in a society where mediatisation and media culture cannot be ignored. The chapter shows how it is possible to gain access to the new spaces of intimacy opened up by the use of digital media and at the same time respecting young people’s experiences and points of view. The authors recognise digital media as resources in the research process, able to challenge the normative relation between the researcher and the subject involved, opening up new spaces for participant agency.