Parenting for a Digital Future

This week's review interviews over 70 families to examine parenthood in our age of unprecedented digital technology.

Parenting for a Digital Future: How Hopes and Fears about Technology Shape Children’s Lives

Livingstone, Sonia M. by Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross Oxford, 2020
274p bibl index, 9780190874698 $99.00, 9780190874704 $27.95, 9780190874728

Parenting for a Digital Future: How Hopes and Fears about Technology Shape Children's Lives book cover

This volume by Livingstone (media studies, London School of Economics, UK) and Blum-Ross (public policy lead, Kids & Families, Google) addresses an important contemporary social policy question: how parents of young children approach digital technologies, either by resisting them, embracing them, or striking a balance between the two. The book is based on in-depth qualitative interviews with 73 diverse families in the UK buttressed by a representative sample survey of 2,000 British parents. The authors probe how parents respond to digital technologies as their social class memberships diverge. They also investigate how parents of children with disabilities may differ from other parents in their responses to digital technologies. The authors have assembled a well-written, systematic appraisal of parental responses to the digital challenges of the present; their book is no less relevant to American audiences than it would be for those from any postindustrial society. The authors cover the previous literature of digital technology and most of the associated controversies with authority and precision. Parents puzzled by how to respond to the digital technological future with their children will find this book enlightening.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.
Reviewer: W. Feigelman, emeritus, Nassau Community College
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Women’s & Gender Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Choice Issue: Dec 2021

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