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Studying the datafication of Australian childhoods: learning from a survey of digital technologies in homes with young children

journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-17, 05:03 authored by Luci PangrazioLuci Pangrazio, Jane Mavoa
The home is a crucial site of young children's early encounters with digitally connected technologies. It is here that their emerging digital footprints are being formed and where digital data about them is being produced then collected, analysed and commodified in varying ways. While much is speculated about the rise of intelligent assistants, baby monitors, connected toys and goods, there is little quantitative information available about what sorts of devices households with children actually contain. This article reports on findings from an online survey of 504 Australian households with children aged 0–8 years. The survey was designed to capture a snapshot of internet connected devices and goods in households as a way of contextualising current discussions around the datafication of childhood. Results indicate that Australian households with young children are indeed highly connected, and this is primarily via devices already well domesticated into everyday family life such as TVs, computers and smartphones. We discuss several key points emerging from our findings, including: the safety and security of the household as a primary motivator for using smart home devices; the different rates of acceptance of the datafying objects in the home; and the Googlization of family life. We conclude the paper by outlining a research agenda that more accurately reflects the digital realities of Australian family life.



Media International Australia










SAGE Publications