Information And Communication And Domestication Essay

1317 words - 5 pages

MORAL ECONOMY OF THE HOUSEHOLD: (SiLVERSTONE, 2006, P236).

The information and communication that is readily available within the home due to Domestication adds an extra dimension to our everyday lives, in that the family life becomes “fractured” (Silverstone, 2006, P241) through this new kind of public culture.

Lynn Schofield Clark tells of how Silverstone, Hirsch, and Morely were the first to introduce the concept of the moral economy of the household. They did this through the study of television, deducing that “the moral economy refers to the capacity of households actively to engage with the products and meanings of the public, formal, commodity and individual-based economy and to produce something of their own as a result of that engagement.” (Clark, 2014, P5)

Clark argues that the function of media in regards to the moral economy of the household involves the “cultural and economic functions of contemporary families” (Clark, 2014, P6) where media, such as Television can arise conversation within the home about the “larger public realm” and away from the conventional family unit, essentially a symptom of fragmentation that Domestication brings to the contemporary technology equipped household. Therefore we must find a “domestic coherence” as Silverstone suggests. (Silverstone, 2006, P237)

Clark characterises media as an organising force through domestication, referencing a study by Barry Wellman that documented how “family members increasingly employ mobile media to foster connectedness and to stay in touch with one another throughout the day.” (Clark, 2014, P7)

Clark sees the moral economy as useful to understanding contemporary media, and divides it into three parts. First she argues it is inconceivable to consider a household or a family and its media practices without also taking into account the means why by which it is maintained. A form of media consumption within the home manipulating how families are consumers of mediated content. (Clark, 2014, P8) The second phase refers to how “media purchases and use are made in the particular contexts of unique households, and those decisions tend to be expressive of certain culturally patterned ways of knowing,” (Clark, 2014, P8) demonstrating how the value placed on certain types of information technology is relative to the individuals within the home. The third way is that media becomes “tamed within the context of household,” (Clark, 2014, P10) becoming both physically and symbolically located within the home, fitting into our routines, our time structures, and how we display them to others. (Clark, 2014, P10)

Overall through these three characteristics in which Clark arises indicates how intrinsic technologies are in regards to relations of power within the household, where family members attach social significance and values to the technology, asserting authority and making decisions which impact on others within their shared family culture. Thus Clark’s main argument can be...

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