Social & Theatre. Body and Identity Education in sexting Prevention

Pier Cesare Rivoltella, Andrea Veronelli, Simona Ferrari, Ermanno Nardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aim is to introduce and discuss how Social Theatre can be used in Health Prevention in a new methodological framework whose Peer&Media Education and Digital Literacy are part too. The starting point is the gap between the new risks impacting adolescents behaviours (new addictions, gambling, online pornography) and the strategies provided by Health Services for preventing them. While youngsters are on line, chatting and dating, health professionals are expecting for them in their offices: ther’s no matching between needs and answers. They’ve to provide a new methological framework for prevention, able to understand youngsters practices and to make sense of what they do in social network sites and through digital media in their daily lifes. Peer&Media Education tries to do this. It was born from the meeting between Peer and Media Education. Peer Education, traditionnaly means to train youngsters so they could be able to educating their peers. Media Education, on the other side, aims to develop critical thinking for making possible that youngsters could become aware of media messages and able to produce and publish their contents in a responsibile way. When they meet one each other, they provide to prevention and education a common framework into which critical thinking is developed and fostered thanks to peers activity. Recently, CREMIT (Centre of Research on Education about Media, Information and Technology), in collaboration with some other partners from health prevention (Contorno Viola), teens education (Informagiovani) and Social Theathre (Industria Scenica), run an Action-Research project on sexting prevention ( It was a good opportunity for testing Peer&Media methodology. In this case Social Theathre was thought (and used) in two ways. Firstable as a form of social care and web risks prevention. From a methodological point of view this meant: to choose the best performing-arts for the context; to focus on the target audience of the project; try to imagine how to face the topic of sexting in an effective way. The result was the creation of a mascot, OPS!, a puppet with whom the researchers met youngsters in schools, discotheques and in other informal contexts. OPS! was also involved with peers in videomaking: they built videos about sexting whose aim were prevention messages adressed to communities the peers themselves were part of. The second way into which Social Theathre was used is the communication of the research data. This meant to provide to the final dissemination event a dramaturgic framework useful for commenting the data themselves and facilitating people understanding and participation. This kind of activity is part of a wider research project on Theatre and Scientific Communication held at the Catholic University of Milan by Claudio Bernardi and Pier Cesare Rivoltella research groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalComunicazioni Sociali
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Peer education
  • Sexting


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