Media, Family Interaction and the Digitalization of Childhood
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Media, Family Interaction and the Digitalization of Childhood

Edited by Anja R. Lahikainen, Tiina Mälkiä and Katja Repo

This is a first-class repository of new knowledge on how media and family routines intertwine in daily interactions. The multi-method approach reveals how varying forms of media affect the interaction between children and their parents. Avoiding criticism of these interactions, the contributors instead offer an impartial view of the natural occurrences in media-related family life.
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Chapter 12: Family, media and the digitalization of childhood

Anja Riitta Lahikainen and Ilkka Arminen


The role of media in children’s socialization depends on many of the intertwined decision-making factors of parents and children. In this study, families appear to form two groups: the gourmets, which feature the parents regulating their children’s media use by arranging other joint activities with children, and the gourmands, which feature parents who are permissive and encourage children’s technology use and regulate it only loosely. Generally, the authors observe that the regulation of children’s media usage becomes more difficult when children get older. Most conflicts between parents and children were related to the children’s computer/media use and associated disobedience. These conflicts are also evidence of the value of the family, and its ability to resist outside forces. In addition, new opportunities have been opened up thanks to mobile media, since family interaction, both facially and from a distance, is no longer limited to the home. Media and technologies intensify social life, adding new negotiations to family life, but do not threaten its centrality.

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