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Title: You, Me and Digital Technology: Adolescent and Parent Perspectives in the Digital World
Authors: Lobo, Edwina
Keywords: Centre for Human Ecology
Rajani Konantambigi
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: TISS
Abstract: The current study focussed on the exploration and understanding of the meaning making processes of parents and adolescents in the Digital Age. The sample studied was nine1college going adolescents between the ages of sixteen and nineteen years and their respective mothers. Their activities and usage of the various digital media available to them, the influences and effects of the same in their personal and interpersonal (family interactions) lives, conflict and resolution and meaning making of all the above were studied. A qualitative approach using in-depth interviews was carried out in Mumbai and the participants were from the middle and upper middle social strata. The data was analysed using a thematic analysis. Having recognised that digital media is here to stay, the adolescents were negotiating the space it had in their lives while parents were negotiating their stance on the same and their changing roles in the lives of their children. New ways of socializing in the virtual world with new norms for values, relationships, conduct, interactions and lifestyles are emerging,along with socialization goals which may be the same as the previous generation but the arena where it unfolds is probably changing. Adolescents used the medium for varied activities and to maintain friendships and other relationships; in short for their life-style. For the adolescents, the goals for socialization, education, work, lifestyle etc were ‘fused’ with the digital world- a context in which they had grown-up. But for parents on the other hand, the digital world was only a ‘latest technology’ that can be used to ‘enhance’ the ways of attaining these goals but are not to be infused in the context of the digital. They compartmentalised the ‘real-life’ goals as separate from the online life. With the coming of age of this generation, these concepts will be undergoing some form of change and negotiation in all the areas that they influence and this research aims at making a niche in one of these areas, ie the parent-adolescent relationship.
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