Chapter 2: Ways of Understanding Families and Technology
Existing family theory is useful for conceptualizing, describing, and studying family interactions, contexts, and well-being, but is it sufficient for considerations of information communications technology (ICT)? On one hand, we can argue that it is not, given the affordances of technology as they demonstrate various dynamics on roles and relationships. On the other, these theories have withstood the test of time for decades and have been applied to other phenomena facing families. Can it be argued that these theories and frameworks — or at least some of them — could be used?
Identify a sample research article that studies family technology use applied to a fairly traditional family framework (e.g., systems). Using your school library site or Google Scholar, use keywords on family, technology (or insert the name of a specific technology like texting or social media), and the name of the theory (e.g., social construction, family systems, symbolic interaction). Comment on the degree to which the perspective fits the study. Knowing what you do about family theory and dynamics, and about facets of technology function and use, would you recommend any different framework be considered for this study?
The chapter focuses on two primary frameworks for looking at families and technology implications. Applying frameworks to real-life examples is a way to demonstrate and challenge our understanding. Select one of the two frameworks: Lanigan’s socio-technological framework or Hertlein and Blumer’s framework. In the post, provide a brief summary (like a paragraph) of the framework, then describe a real-life example, such as couple relationships and the use of technology, or parent supervision of a child’s technology use. The application may be something personal that will be relevant to you and help you apply these frameworks. Consider what research questions the use of this framework or model might suggest.