Strategies of parental regulation in the media-rich home.
Computers in Human Behavior, 23
This paper investigates practices of domestic regulation of media within the family, focusing on parental attempts to manage children’s access to and use of new media, while also recognising that these have consequences for children’s attempts to manage their own access to and use of media, even if this means tactics to evade parental control. Theoretically, the paper seeks to integrate the specific literature on domestic rules and regulation of media use with the broader literature on the rules and roles in social situations, arguing that parental strategies in relation to domestic media reveal both the enactment of and the negotiations over the typically informal and implicit rules and roles in family life. These issues are explored using data from two surveys: (1) the ‘Young People, New Media’ project surveyed 1300 children and their parents, examining the social, relational and contextual factors that shape the ways in which families develop rules for managing the introduction of the personal computer and the multiplication of television sets, among other new media changes, in the home; (2) the ‘UK Children Go Online’ project surveyed 1500 children and their parents, updating the picture by examining the introduction of the internet into the family home. On the basis of these data, it is argued that despite the ‘newness’ of media as they successively arrive in the home, there are considerable consistencies over time in the responses of families, it being the slow-to-change relations between parents and children that shape patterns of domestic regulation and use.
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