This study explores the use of WhatsApp instant messenger in extended families in two countries, Finland and Italy, that represent different family and communication cultures. Qualitative research material was collected in 2014/2015 from families consisting of three or more generations and living either in the same or different households. A directed approach to qualitative content analysis was applied in the analysis of the research data. The results of the study show that WhatsApp is considered to facilitate family interaction across generations. The success of WhatsApp in the family context accounts for two main factors: first, for the possibility to reach the whole family at once; and secondly, for its capacity to promote “phatic communion” via small messages. While utilizing various communicative modalities of WhatsApp (text and voice messages, photos, videos), family members take into account others’ preferences and communication skills.

The Big Meaning of Small Messages: The Use of WhatsApp in Intergenerational Family Communication

Manuela Farinosi
2018

Abstract

This study explores the use of WhatsApp instant messenger in extended families in two countries, Finland and Italy, that represent different family and communication cultures. Qualitative research material was collected in 2014/2015 from families consisting of three or more generations and living either in the same or different households. A directed approach to qualitative content analysis was applied in the analysis of the research data. The results of the study show that WhatsApp is considered to facilitate family interaction across generations. The success of WhatsApp in the family context accounts for two main factors: first, for the possibility to reach the whole family at once; and secondly, for its capacity to promote “phatic communion” via small messages. While utilizing various communicative modalities of WhatsApp (text and voice messages, photos, videos), family members take into account others’ preferences and communication skills.
978-3-319-92033-7
978-3-319-92034-4
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1135627
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