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Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media


Edited By Carol J. Bruess

Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media is an innovative collection of contemporary data-driven research and theorizing about how digital and social media are affecting and changing nearly every aspect of family interaction over the lifespan. The research and thinking featured in the book reflects the intense growth of interest in families in the digital age. Chapters explore communication among couples, families, parents, adolescents, and emerging adults as their realities are created, impacted, changed, structured, improved, influenced and/or inhibited by cell phones, smartphones, personal desktop and laptop computers, MP3 players, e-tablets, e-readers, email, Facebook, photo sharing, Skype, Twitter, SnapChat, blogs, Instagram, and other emerging technologies. Each chapter significantly advances thinking about how digital media have become deeply embedded in the lives of families and couples, as well as how they are affecting the very ways we as twenty-first-century communicators see ourselves and, by extension, conceive of and behave in our most intimate and longest-lasting relationships.
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Marquette University

I am delighted to write the foreword for this important volume. This book, which explores challenges and opportunities experienced by families communicating in the era of digital and social media, is both fresh and timely. The topic is a critical one, as all the authors in this volume acknowledge when they cite the ubiquity of social media, as well as the enormous impact social media exert on family communication practices. This idea was vividly brought home to me because during the time I was preparing this foreword, the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage was announced. The way the decision was communicated highlights how social media intertwines with issues of family. Partners texted one another, #SCOTUSmarriage became a trending hashtag on Instagram, Facebook profile pictures were overlaid with rainbow filters, and families appeared on social media expressing their feelings about this landmark decision that clarified the definition of marriage. Certainly, now the time is ripe for scholars to examine relationships among family and technologically assisted communication.

This book, expertly edited by Carol J. Bruess, brings together an interdisciplinary group of authors to do just that. Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media contributes several things to our knowledge of family communication: 1) it is no longer sufficient to ask whether social media helps or harms the family; 2) multiple, current theories are useful in our studies of social ← xi | xii → media and family; and 3)...

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