Edited By Carol J. Bruess
3. Global Families in a Digital Age
← 54 | 55 → Global Families in a Digital Age
MEG WILKES KARRAKER
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
AUTHOR NOTE: I thank Changhyuk Byun, Morten Ender, Lea Hagoel, Brandon Haugrud, Michael Murphy, Shady Shalik, and Alexander Tsadwa for sharing their personal experiences and professional insights on digital connections with their own global families. Thanks also to Mark Karraker, P. E., who researched the data from the United Nations International Telecommunications Union. Correspondence concerning this chapter should be addressed to Meg Wilkes Karraker, University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Avenue, Mail #4048, St. Paul, MN 55105–1095, U.S.A. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the global mass media are “a driving force behind transnational life plans” (BeckGernsheim, 2001, p. 62), then information communication technology (ICT) is a driving force on steroids! As editor Carol Bruess stated in her call for the chapters in this volume, mobile cellular telephones, Facebook and its spinoffs, the Internet, online chat rooms, text messaging, and other ICTs are increasingly “affecting family systems and interactions over the life span.” Families increasingly use ICTs to negotiate the full range of family functions across life cycle stages and subsystems, while extending in revolutionary ways the very ecology of their families.
← 55 | 56 → This chapter examines the ways transnational families use information communication technologies to communicate, thereby accomplishing family functions and stretching family subsystems across national borders. Throughout this chapter, members of transnational families offer their own accounts...
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