Parental anxieties and practices in the digital age

Presenter: Catherine Page Jeffery, News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra

Parental anxieties about how children are engaging with different forms of media are not new, and popular books and the mass media warn parents about the many and varied risks associated with the internet and mobile technologies. What has not yet been addressed, however, are the ways in which parents negotiate constant technological change in the home.  How do parents actually feel about their children’s use of digital technologies, and how do they manage these issues in terms of developing and circulating new knowledges and practices?

Through focus groups and interviews with parents of teenagers aged 12 – 16, my research explores these questions. To date, five focus groups have been conducted with approximately 30 parents, and more are scheduled.  Follow-up interviews are planned to explore in detail the different practices and techniques of a selection of Australian parents for managing and negotiating their children’s technology use.

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