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ERIC Number: EJ787393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0192-513X
Watching Children: Describing the Use of Baby Monitors on
Nelson, Margaret K.
Journal of Family Issues, v29 n4 p516-538 2008
Popular culture today characterizes middle-class parents as being consumed with anxiety about their children. Drawing on more than 100 consumer reviews of baby monitors published on, the author examines how parents respond to that anxiety. Although reviewers are not representative of the population at large, they do represent married, well-educated women. The author demonstrates that in their discussions of monitors, parents normalize parental anxiety and that they depict the baby as both fragile (and thus in need of care) and mischievous (and thus in need of control). In addition, the author shows that as parents adapt to the anxieties associated with parenting by monitoring their babies, they gain some forms of freedom while accepting tethering and that they gain the new skills of interpretation through technology. In the conclusion, issues are raised about the links between parental monitoring of babies and increasing surveillance in contemporary society. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A