The use of the internet in homes rivals the advent of the telephone, radio, or television in social significance. Daily use of the World Wide Web and e-mail is taken for granted in many families, and the computer-linked internet is becoming an integral part of the physical and audiovisual environment. The internet's features of personalization, interactivity, and information abundance raise profound new issues for parents and children.
Most researchers studying the impact of the internet on families begin with the assumption that the family is the central influence in preparing a child to live in society and that home is where that influence takes place. In The Wired Homestead, communication theorists and social scientists offer recent findings on the effects of the internet on the lives of the family unit and its members. The book examines historical precedents of parental concern over "new" media such as television. It then looks at specific issues surrounding parental oversight of internet use, such as rules about revealing personal information, time limits, and web site restrictions. It looks at the effects of the web on both domestic life and entire neighborhoods. The wealth of information offered and the formulation of emerging issues regarding parents and children lay the foundation for further research in this developing field. The contributors include Robert Kraut, Jorge Reina Schement, Ellen Seiter, Sherry Turkle, Ellen Wartella, and Barry Wellman.
About the Editors
Joseph Turow, called by the New York Times "probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation," is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He is the the author of Breaking Up America: Advertisers and the New Media World, among other books, and the editor of The Wired Homestead (MIT Press, 2003).
Andrea L. Kavanaugh is Senior Research Scientist and Assistant Director at the Human Computer Interaction Center, Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
"Joe Turow and Andrea Kavanaugh have brought together the Dream Team of internet analysts and they have filed compelling and often startling dispatches from the frontier where people are using new technologies. The wired homestead is a place where families are changing the way they live and relate, and The Wired Homestead is an authoritative account of how that's happening and why."
—Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet and American Life Project
"This volume assembles some of the best scholars in the field of communication to produce a thoughtful compendium of research on the role of the internet in family life. By combining both quantitative and qualitative approaches, and addressing a wide range of key issues, the book will be a valuable resource not only for students of new media, but also for policymakers, advocates, and parents."
—Kathryn C. Montgomery, Professor of Communication, American University, and Co-Founder, Center for Media Education