The [not so] new digital family: disciplinary functions of representations of children and technology

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The main question for consideration in this paper relates to the functional prerequisites for the construction of the so-called ‘digital family’ in the Spanish context. Taking inspiration from Burman’s (1994; 2008) work we start from two assumptions. Firstly, we assume that representations of children and families are important in terms of power and gender. This leads to our second assumption, that when considering representations of the family we also, necessarily, need to address gender regulatory functions, as much as economic and political trends. We argue that since the middle of the last decade reports there has been an intensification of interest in children and their relations with Information and Communications Technology. We identify how a convergence of discourses around family and gender, enshrined in notions of the ‘digital family’ functions to refold the family structure back in on itself, advocating a return to traditional values in much the same way as in previous eras.