Digitalization of Intimacy: Search for Optics for Digital Parenting

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Elena Laktyukhina


This review article provides a theoretical analysis of the development of digital parenting research. Scholarship in digital parenting may be divided into two corpora of texts: those dealing with the problem of child safety in the digital space and with the problem of ensuring child safety with digital surveillance in everyday life. Analyzing modern concepts of digital parenthood, I mostly focus on the second problem. The essay analyzes the issues of theoretical sources and continuity in the conceptualization of the phenomenon of digital parenting. Proceeding from the thesis that the new sociology of childhood, which is the main engine for the development of parenting research, is methodologically connected with the sociology of everyday life, I address the main concepts of the sociology of everyday life—the structuralist constructivism of Pierre Bourdieu and the frame analysis of Erving Goffman. The purpose of the review essay is to analyze Bourdieu’s and Goffman’s basic sociology concepts as methodological resources for the conceptualization of digital parenting. Turning to Bourdieusian optics, I use the following concepts: social agents, social relations, resources, social practices, and physical space. Establishing links among them allows to observe most of the problems in the field of digital parenting that have appeared in recent years. In particular, one of the most common interpretations becomes clear: digital monitoring of children by parents is defined as a manifestation of a relationship of domination, an asymmetric distribution of power resources between groups of agents—children and parents. In the theoretical framework proposed by Goffman, technological devices that parents use in relation to their children are considered as things that frame these interactions. Conceptualization in the logic of frame analysis is based on the understanding that observation is the process of constituting the daily practices of children and parents.

Text in Russian

DOI: 10.25285/2078-1938-2020-12-3-178-195


Digital Parenting, “Smart Things”, Child Mobility, Baby Monitor, Parenthood, Childhood, Privacy

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