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Parenting for a Digital FutureHow Hopes and Fears about Technology Shape Children's Lives$
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Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190874698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190874698.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021



(p.1) 1 Expectations
Parenting for a Digital Future

Della Rocca

Oxford University Press

How should parents manage their children’s use of digital devices? Why do parents hope for so much from the digital world and yet fear it? The rights and wrongs of “digital parenting” are hotly contested within families, among policymakers, and in the media? To answer these questions, this chapter introduces fieldwork grounded in the day-to-day experiences of families. We argue that “digital parenting” has become a crucial means by which society explores pressing dilemmas over how to live, what constitutes well-being, and what a “good life” is. The chapter explores how parents look backward to their childhood to reflect on how they were parented, and then forward to the conditions in which their children might themselves parent in the future. We begin by positioning parenting conceptually in relation to theories of late modernity and the risk society, but find we must give more emphasis to the importance of established (if changing) social structures and persistent social inequalities. Throughout the book, we reveal how it is through their everyday practices that families navigate between present desires and material constraints. The chapter then introduces three distinct genres for “digital parenting”—embrace, balance, and resist—as a way of understanding the particular constellations of practices, values, and imaginaries that are threaded throughout the stories of individuals and families that follow.

Keywords:   digital parenting, risk society, future imaginaries, genres of practice, individualization, discourses of the digital

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