Conference paper

ICTs and the shaping of family life: methodology to capture the rich interplay (and how we gain entry to explore everyday ICTs' use)

15 Dec 2010

What do we know about the way families interact and socialise with each other in the 'postmodern' information age? Despite all the valuable research in the field, it has been argued that we still know very little about the context of ICTs use, at home, at work, or elsewhere. Media has become part of the rich interplay in family life and, as the material context of the home becomes more complex, this complexity requires new understandings of the way the family makes sense of the world. Research has highlighted some of the difficulties and challenges in undertaking media research in households due to the very nature of households being private spaces unique to each family. There is little research on the earliest phase of data collection in qualitative research on families: recruitment and engagement. This paper provides a brief review of literature on families and their everyday interactions with ICTs. The focus is on the methodological issue of gaining access to families in qualitative research, making links with practical experiences gained in a current research project. The question addressed is: how do we get families to agree to be researched in the family domain to explore everyday interactions with ICTs

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