Abstract / Description of output
The transition to adulthood, often accompanied by an emptying of the family nest, has implications for family relationships, identities and consumption practices. Despite this, the voices and experiences of emerging adults are largely missing from the literature on family consumption. Emerging adult families typically combine digital natives and digital immigrants, but little is known about how their interactions around digital communications technology relate to emerging adult preoccupations with affiliation and autonomy. This interpretive study explores how emerging adults' smartphones are bound up with a complex network of family communication and consumption practices, often across household, geographic and generational boundaries. Affiliation and autonomy emerged as intertwined rather than competing dimensions of participants' smartphone use, contributing to the distribution and development of family as the nest empties.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- emerging adults
- family relationships
- life-course transitions