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Week 14: Reading Notes

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Jennifer Kayahara

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SOC356: Technology and Society
Spring Term Reading Notes
Week 14: Networked Families
(Rainie&Wellman: Chapter 6, Networked Families”)
The Triple RevolutionSocial Network, Internet and Mobile
oHomes are no longer castles. Rather, they are bases for reaching out
and networking
Modern Families= Networked Families
oNetworked families: individual discretion, abundant opportunities
for communication and flexibility in togetherness
oLess time physically together at home. Yet, thickly connected at
anytime and anywhere by phones and the Internet
oHousehold member as a semi-autonomous individual, with her/his
own agenda, using a multitude of transportation and
communication media to contact and coordinate with each other.
Individual nature of technology and transmutation of households into
oICTs foster individual to individual contact
oIn addition, there are social and cultural changes
Personal car ownership (rather than the one-for-all family
car), women working outside of the home, shifting family
composition (smaller, with multiple marriages and
parentage), and paid services for the work formerly done by
homemakers, such as lower cost fast-food and family
The Way It Is Used to Be (1950s-1970s)

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oone realm at a time (today people frequently switch between roles
and social networks)
ohomemaker mom holding the family together, children near the
home, dad earning money (today the desperate loneliness of the
housewives and the alienation of the fathers from their families)
oDad, Mom and the kids went their separate ways. They each had
jobs. The single-car household had become a two-car household.
oStill some togetherness. TV and radio joined newspapers and news
magazines (watching TV together). As the price of telephoning
decreased, chats with distant friends and relatives increased, as did
the number of phone lines in the household. It was possible for
individual family members to build and maintain personal
networks, apart from the familys network, but the household was
still basically the core social unit.
The Way It is in the Networked Age
Fewer traditional families
oPeople living alone or in non-family groups, fewer long-term
the move from mass marketing to target-marketing
obroadcastingrather than being aimed at the family, today’s shows
are aimed at smaller segments of the population, such as young
male adults
oa shift in the tune with the transformations away from solidary
groups to networked families and communities
oTable 6-1: Families in the Fifties and the Tens
1950s-1960s 2000s-2010s
MomHomemakerPaid Worker Outside Home
Dad Sole BreadwinnerLargest Earner

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Marital StatusLifelong Second Marriage
HouseworkMom Does Almost All Mom Does More Than Dad
Childrens PlayFront/Back Yard, Street,
ParkBaseball, Ballet, Scouts, Piano
Mom Contacts
KidsYell Out Window, Call
NeighborCall Kids Mobile Phone
Number of CarsOne Per HouseholdOne Per Adult
MusicAmerican Bandstand,
BillboardiTunes, Rhapsody
Communication Radio, One TV Controlled
by Dial, Broadcasting Multiple TVs Controlled by Remote,
NewsDaily (Print) NewspaperYahoo/Google News, RSS
AdsMagazine, Classified Amazon, Craigslist, eBay
Communication One Household Phone Personal Mobile Phones with Caller
ID Screening
Communication Letters, Personalized
StationaryTexting, Email, Facebook
If Not HomeCall Back Leave Voice Mail
Spousal Contact
at WorkOnly In EmergenciesDiscrete Email & Text Through the
Recreation Charades, MonopolyYouTube, Video Games
MoviesMovie TheatersDownloads, Netflix
Changing Households: Size and Composition
The traditional always-married nuclear family of mom-dad-kids has
oThe proportion of married-couple households with children has
oThe percentage of single parent and remarried parent households
has increased
Households have become smaller.
oWomen having fewer children as paid worker outside home
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