Laktyukhina E.G. Smart Things of the Century: New Technologies in Children-Parent Relations

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2019.4.7

Elena G. Laktyukhina

Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4003-3643


Abstract. The article is devoted to the problem of interaction between parents and children in the conditions of using digital gadgets. The topic is updated by the fact that in the past few years, new media technologies have been profiled for a specific user, gadgets and devices for user groups of parents are widely introduced. These devices monitor the child's physiological indicators, his movements and inform the parents about them. Using the language of research in science and technology, we can say that these devices are "embodied ideology," that is, technologies allow the development of the interests of users, their attitudes, motives, and practices along one channel, guide and prescribe actions to their users. The article presents the results of the analysis of press releases of these gadgets that represent the ethics of parent-child relationships and the practice of caring for a child in the new digital everyday life. In addition, expert reports and feedback from parents-users were analyzed. One of the main results of the work is the conclusion that children's gadgets reinforce the idea of the need for a special relationship to all children, primarily through constant monitoring of them. In addition, the spread of digital infrastructure in the field of childcare occurred in the context of the medicalization of the discourse about childhood. It has shaped modern children's monitors functionally similar to medical devices. This situation contributes to the formation of a medically vigilant parent, his new competence is a deep knowledge of the child's physiology. Negative consequences for children of this form of control can be the formation of the habit of being under observation, difficulties in the development of urban space, lack of independence in actions and decision-making.

Key words: smart things, parenthood, childhood, new media, baby monitor, medicalization.

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