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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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Series Editor’s Preface



Old Dominion University

Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media, expertly edited by Professor Carol Bruess, represents a bold and significant step forward in the research literatures of lifespan communication, family communication, and digital media. Globally, digital communication technologies have been fast- woven into the everyday communication fabric of family life, and as this volume highlights, have spotlighted new paths as well as challenges for families. Included among these challenges are cultural concerns such as the commodification of intimacy (Karraker, this volume), misconceptions about technology (Webb, this volume), “technoference” (McDaniel, this volume), privacy issues (Child & Petronio, this volume), the role of digital media and optimal child development (e.g., Fletcher & Blair, this volume), and parenting in the digital age (e.g., Tikkanen, Afifi, & Merill, this volume). Yet, with mindful use, we also find digital media opening new paths toward deeper understanding and appreciation of family history (Blumer & Hertlein, this volume), potentially higher levels of personal and relational satisfaction, feelings of closeness, and inventiveness at home (Piercy et al., this volume), and new, creative family-presentation rituals via Facebook (Bruess, Li, & Polingo, this volume). This ground breaking volume is a must-read work that will, like all of the other volumes in Peter Lang’s lifespan Communication: Children, Families, and Aging series, spark research, conversation, and contribute important insights into life’s dynamic and ever-evolving communication processes from first words to final conversations.← xv | xvi →

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