Changing Practices of Family Television Watching

  • Barry Brown
  • Louise Barkhuus


There are few technologies as maligned, or as misunderstood, as the television. Television has achieved a massive prevalence in nearly every country across the world, with most households (even in developing countries) having more than one television set or display. There appears to be something uniquely compelling about watching telly, and also in a device that works as soon as it is turned on, and takes no training to use. Television is a distinctly ubiquitous technology and television broadcasts (such as major sporting events) act as some of the biggest simultaneous world events. Yet as a technology it is also much misunderstood – it is frequently characterized as unchanging and obsolete, anti-social and isolating (e.g. Putnam 2001). As this chapter documents, television is none of these things – throughout its history it has been in constant evolution, both technically and in terms of content. Moreover television watching is an activity that is intimately connected with the social life of households.


Living Room Television Watching Series Link Traditional Television Personal Video Recorder 
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Copyright information

© Springer London 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Brown
    • 1
  • Louise Barkhuus
    • 2
  1. 1.Mobile Life VINN Excellence CenterStockholmSweden
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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