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 2: New media, family interaction and socialization

Anja Riitta Lahikainen

Abstract

The revolution in contemporary digital media has altered patterns of family interaction in ways largely unknown. In this chapter, theories of socialization in the context of the family and family interaction are interpreted and revised in light of the digitalization of the home. The family is a special and at the same time fundamental locus of social interaction, not the least because the child is born into the existing social network of his or her family members. During their early years, children undergo a transformation from dependency to autonomous, functioning agents in their social network. Families are said to be the cradle of language, the original site of everyday discourse and a touchstone for talk in other contexts (Kendall, 2007). Nevertheless, the naturally occurring, face-to-face interactions between family members have remained largely unexplored for many reasons. This chapter describes and analyses the increase in the complexity of family communication and the challenges that the invasion of new media present for the socialization of the child at home.

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