The time when the child is given his/her own smartphone, a lot changes in the communication and everyday life of the family. In his thesis, Marcel Rechlitz examines what this means for parental media education.
To buy a smartphone for the child is a profound change for many families in their everyday life and relationships. From now on, the child has constant access to media content and functions, is in contact with others, and is also available to reach for family members at almost any time. That has an impact on family life and parental (media) education. As users themselves, parents have their own was of using digital media. In their role as parents, however, they have to develop an attitude toward the media usage of their children and deal with it in their family’s everyday life. Therefore, existing (and more or less proven) strategies in connection with the smartphone as a new device of the child’s media repertoire have to be questioned and renegotiated. In his PhD-project, Marcel Rechlitz asks how the attitude of parents and the practice of media education within families develop when the first child has a smartphone. The aim is to identify changes in attitudes, competences and the practices of media education by parents, as well as in the relationship building of family members linked to the purchase of a smartphone for the first child.
Within the framework of a theoretical sampling, structured interviews will be conducted with parents whose child has owned a smartphone for only a short period of time already. The interviews will be analysed and condensed into a theory using the methodology of Grounded Theory by Strauss & Corbin (1996).
This work seeks to contribute to the current discourse in research revolving around parenting styles, as well as to the theoretical debate on media education.
Duration: 2016 to 2018.
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1996). Grounded Theory: Grundlagen qualitativer Sozialforschung. Weinheim: Beltz.
Research programme: RP3 - Knowledge for the Media Society