Edited By Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb
11. The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Role of ICTs in Work and Family Connections (Paige P. Edley / Renée Houston)
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Role of ICTs in Work and Family Connections
Paige P. Edley
The ubiquitous presence of information communication technology (ICT) offers working families opportunities to reassign, privilege, and attend to the intersections of work and family (Bryant & Bryant, 2006). Amidst increasing connectedness and perpetual development, ICTs allow men and women to engage in paid work from home, run their own businesses from a home office, and work at the office while keeping close ties with latchkey kids via mobile phones. Mobile ICTs bring work into the home and home into work. Wireless laptops, mobile network cards, flash drives, email, and smart phones (previously referred to as PDAs), like BlackBerry and iPhone, that combine mobile phones with Internet and web access for downloading applications (apps) for music, global positioning systems (GPS), calendars, email, and social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) constitute what Weiser (1995; cited in Quesenberry & Trauth, 2005) referred to as “ubiquitous computing”—discreet computers that are so naturally interspersed into our everyday lives that they are deemed invisible and normal. They are considered an extension of the self (Lemish & Cohen, 2005), a fashion accessory (Gant & Kiesler, 2001; Green, 2003; Ling, 2003, 2004; Hulme & Peters, 2001; Katz et al., 2003; Lobet-Maris, 2003; Skog, 2002; all cited in Campbell, 2007; Wei & Lo, 2006), a second skin (Katz, 2003; Katz & Aakhus, 2002)...
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