Parenting young children in changing media environments with twenty years apart

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to bring to reflection the everyday life of Portuguese families with young children entangled in the digital media environment, by considering a past generation of families with similar characteristics. Theoretical framework combines a mediatization lens and perspectives from media and generations studies. The conceptualisation of the family as a "communicative figuration" (Hepp, Hasebrink, 2018) - composed by communicative practices, actors' constellation and frames of relevance - guide the three research questions: 1) to what extent is the changing media environment related to changes in the roles played by parents, children and other family members? 2) Are digital media affecting communicative practices in relation to family timetables, routines and spaces? 3) How family's media-related concerns and memories frame those practices? Based on a thematic analysis of 40 interviews with 20 years apart (20 in 1996 and 20 in 2016), the article explores to what extent "doing family" (Morgan, 2011) has changed. Results show that despite 2016 families are immersed in a deeper digitised environment, parents continue considering television as the main trusted screen for children. More schooled and digital savvy parents seem to be attached to a nostalgic perception of childhood that guides their mediation practices through a more cocooning approach, postponing children's awareness of social realities around them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalComunicazioni Sociali
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Communicative figurations
  • Media and family
  • Media generation
  • Mediatization
  • Young children


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