Australian & New Zealand Communication Association Inc
Place of Publication
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Arts and Humanities
The Parents and Peers project set out to investigate key influences of peers and parents on the online experiences of young people aged 13 - 17. Specifically, the project sought to explore the family constructions of learning, support and management systems that operate in the informal context of the domestic space of the family home (Silverstone & Haddon 1996). It became apparent through interviewing several sets of older siblings that there was benefit in interviewing a wider age range of siblings who were engaged in online activity within individual families. Therefore, the interview participants’ age range was extended to age 9 - 17. This paper utilises sets of interviews from three families in which 3 or 4 siblings agreed to participate in the research. What became clear from these multiple interviews in each of the three families was that any consideration of influence upon these young people’s online activities needed to expand from parents and peers to include the influence of siblings and cousins. This paper examines the various influences operating within larger families, particularly on the youngest members of these families, aged 9 - 10, whom we have called ‘young gamers’. It also considers how influence might be exchanged within the sibling/cousin network operating in these families.
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