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Imagining the future through the lens of the digital: parents’ narratives of generational change

Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862 and Blum-Ross, Alicia (2018) Imagining the future through the lens of the digital: parents’ narratives of generational change. In: Papacharissi, Zizi, (ed.) A networked self: birth, life, death. Routledge, New York, pp. 50-68. ISBN 9781138705890

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This chapter argues that, while parenting has always been inherently future-oriented and, therefore highly uncertain, the conditions of reflexive modernity amplify and individualize the burden of risk such that parents become increasingly anxious both because of their uncertain and risky task and also because of the judgments of others. Based on depth interviews with over 70 London families, we show how parents navigate this situation by tacking back and forth between their memories of their own (non-digital) childhood and their anticipations of their children’s imagined ‘digital’ future in order to narrate for themselves and their children the values, identities and practices that are important to them. These narratives are sometimes romantic and other times instrumental; both narratives are highly agentic, allowing parents’ visions of the future to shape their actions in the present. But, we explain last, it matters that the future is imagined through the lens of the digital.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 16:06
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2024 18:57
Funders: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for the Connected Learning Research Network

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