'Like immigrants': Negotiating power in the face of the home computer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the father-son-computer triangle in an attempt to shed light on the role of the machine in the articulation of male identity in particular, and family relationships in general. The article outlines a framework for the investigation of families and domestic communication technologies, arguing that the study of identity construction through the medium must be accompanied by a study of the relationships around the medium; and that men and boys need to be (re)incorporated into the work on the human-machine problematic. Drawing on an analysis of the discourse of three families that were observed and interviewed in the course of one year, the article proposes that the notion of computer expertise and the sense of dependence are key for the construction of fatherhood and masculinity vis a vis the home computer, and points to the metaphor of immigrants' language acquisition, which was offered by one of the fathers, as capturing the complexity of contemporary paternal emasculation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-238
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2001


  • Boyhood
  • Computer-mediated communication (CMC)
  • Dependence
  • Domestication
  • Expertise
  • Families
  • Fatherhood
  • Male identity construction
  • Masculinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of ''Like immigrants': Negotiating power in the face of the home computer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this