Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
This paper discusses the concept of domestic space as a transformative communications environment; a space in which relationships among individuals, families and ultimately the community are sustained, and in some cases transformed. Drawing on a research project currently being conducted in Western Australia, this paper explores communication within domestic space from an historical (Fischer, 1992; Moyal, 1992) and empirical perspective (Frissen, 1995; Holloway & Green, 2004), and contends that the seemingly mundane quality of the domestic sphere has resulted in it being underestimated as an avenue for research. Moreover, a research focus on young people’s uptake of information and communications technologies (ICTs), particularly as artefacts of empowerment and independence (Boyd, 2007; Ling, 2007), has tended to overlook the degree to which ICTs have become embedded in domestic spaces through women’s appropriation of multiple communication technologies in their work as kin-keepers (Helgeson, 1994, p. 412) and ‘domestic relations specialists’ (Wellman & Wortley, 1990, p. 582). This paper aims to address this gap in the literature by examining women’s communicative agency in the domestic sphere, and the potential this have to transform relationships among families, friends, and ultimately communities.