New technologies are profoundly reshaping the world around us. Home computers - unheard of two decades ago - now play an intimate role as personal possessions in many people's lives. For some, computer games may be vital to winding-down after a busy day, while for others the home computer represents only work or is a means through which to socialize in cyberspace. Powerfully symbolic of both future and present trends, computers are increasingly seen as essential home purchases. This book is the first sustained examination of the revealing role computers play in our domestic lives. Do computers cause or help to resolve arguments? What role does gender play in negotiating their use? Who spends the most time with the computer? How does the importance of home computers change as we move from childhood through careers to retirement? Drawing upon topical theories from material culture, technology and consumption studies, Lally traces the social life of these machines and provides unique insights into the many different ways in which they are transformed into highly personal possessions. The result is an absorbing account of everyday life in the information age.
This book will be of interest to anthropologists, geographers, sociologists and anyone who wants to get to know how their home computer affects their family life.
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(234mm x 156mm x 13mm)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
20 years ago only a few people had a home computer, now a majority of households do. Whether you play games on it, run a business from home or use the Internet for socializing, your computer is integral to your life. In this book, adapted from her PhD thesis, Elaine Lally discusses such issues as the role of age and gender in computer use, the effect of computers on family dynamics and the way people feel about their machines. Lally draws on the work of other academics in fields such as consumption studies to explore the different ways people use computers to negotiate the world around them, in terms of status, communication and reciprocity. This is not a book for the general reader but those studying sociology, anthropology or human/computer interactions will find it both interesting and useful. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Elaine Lally
Elaine Lally is Assistant Director at the Institute for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney