Communicating with Our Families: Continuity, Interruption, and Transformation examines how communication technologies are shaping childhood, parenthood, and families by exploring topics such as parental loneliness, family storytelling, family technology rules, mindful technology usage, multigenerational communication, and community. The scholars in this volume work from a human communication perspective and use various research modes of inquiry including quantitative, qualitative, and interpretive methods. Perhaps the most significant question implied by our contributors in this volume is whether the introduction of new communication technologies will fundamentally alter familial forms and if those new groupings that emerge will resemble what has been generally assumed for several millennia.
Maryl R. McGinley is associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Jill K. Burk is associate teaching professor and program chair of the communication arts and sciences program at Pennsylvania State University, Berks.
Joel S. Ward is associate professor of communication at Geneva College.
Section I: Continuity
Chapter 1: Zooming through Change: The Role of Communication Technologies in Intergenerational Family Transitions during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Elizabeth B. Jones
Chapter 2: Narrative Wisdom: Implications from Literature for Family Communication Technology – Janie Harden Fritz
Chapter 3: Rhetorical Constructions of the Reset: Video Games and Family Connections – Paul Lucas
Chapter 4: The Role of Communication and Information Technology in Health Information Seeking – Patty Wharton-Michael
Chapter 5: With Great Power Comes Ethical Communication: Technology, Superheroes, and Family Conversations in Communication Ethics – Christina L. McDowell Marinchak and Tyrell J. Stewart-Harris
Section II: Interruption
Chapter 6: Cellular Television and the Reallocation of Familiar Attention – Joel S. Ward
Chapter 7: Formative Media Consumption: Utilizing Media as Grammatical Foundations of Families – Anthony M. Wachs
Chapter 8: Motherhood and Loneliness: The Social Media Dilemma – Maryl R. McGinley and Jill K. Burk
Section III: Transformation
Chapter 9: “According to Science, This Is Who I Am”: Personal Genome Testing and Adoption Reunions – Melissa Rizzo Weller
Chapter 10: Family Communication Disrupted by Incarceration and the Role of Technology: An Overview – Tiffany Petricini
Chapter 11: Strengthening Families through Web-Based Interventions: Developing and Assessing Feasibility of the “REAL Parenting: Talking About Alcohol” Program – Michelle Miller-Day, Anne E. Ray, Michael L. Hecht, and Rob Turrisi
Chapter 12: Embracing the Transition to Social Media in Parent-Teen Communication – Melissa Rizzo Weller, Angela M. Hosek, and Jessica Cherry
“Communicating with Our Families invites us into the rich, variegated communication within family life—the everyday wonders and worries we experience in our age of intense technological mediation amid the enduring realities of eating, working, sleeping, and talking together close at hand.”
Communicating with Our Families: Technology as Continuity, Interruption, and Transformation, is a collection of essays that explore the impact, influence, and consequences of new and emergent communication technologies on familial communication, familial relationships, and communicative action in the world. The editors are guided by the assumption that how human beings live in familial relationships can model how we relate to others and engage in the world around us—extending communicative practices beyond familial ties. Considering all of the polarization, incivility, and disruption in our communities, our governments, and our generalized public sphere today, this text reminds us to look toward our families to learn how we might transform our public spaces with healthier communicative engagement.