In this chapter, the author reflects on the benefits and constraints of studying family interaction by using video recordings of natural family life. The video data in this study were recorded with four stationary cameras located at strategic points in the homes of 26 families. The author found that there were certain special moments when the family members seemed to do something else than just ‘act normally’ as they were instructed. She calls these special moments ‘performative actions’, following Goffman’s (1959) studies of performance in everyday life. The author found two kinds of performative actions, namely ‘expressive performances’ (such as presenting demonstrations of skills, such as dancing) and ‘moral performances’ (such as organizing family routines differently for the recordings). These performative actions can be used as a rich source of cultural and normative understandings of family life.
Edited by Anja R. Lahikainen, Tiina Mälkiä and Katja Repo
Anja Riitta Lahikainen, Tiina Mälkiä and Katja Repo
The introductory chapter outlines the contents of the volume. The first part of the book maps contemporary family life and child socialization by providing new methodological, theoretical and time-use reflections on media use and media-related child–parent interaction. In addition, it discusses conversation analysis as a method for depicting the complexity of family interaction. This first part utilizes time-use surveys as well as recent theoretical and methodological discussions. The second part of the book reaches into the private zone of family interaction, and provides the reader with detailed interactional analyses of everyday life with media devices. Detailed case studies of various forms of media-related family interaction contribute to understanding new forms of family time, and conflict situations.