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Title: Hearth and Hotmail: The Domestic Sphere as Commodity and Community in Cyberspace
Contributor(s): Brien, Donna Lee (author); Rutherford, Leonie Margaret  (author); Williamson, Rosemary Ann  (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: It has frequently been noted that ICTs and social networking applications have blurred the once-clear boundary between work, leisure and entertainment, just as they have collapsed the distinction between public and private space. While each individual has a sense of what "home" means, both in terms of personal experience and more conceptually, the following three examples of online interaction (based on participants' interest, or involvement, in activities traditionally associated with the home: pet care, craft and cooking) suggest that the utilisation of online communication technologies can lead to refined and extended definitions of what "home" is. These examples show how online communication can assist in meeting the basic human needs for love, companionship, shelter and food – needs traditionally supplied by the home environment. They also provide individuals with a considerably expanded range of opportunities for personal expression and emotional connection, as well as creative and commercial production, than that provided by the purely physical (and, no doubt, sometimes isolated and isolating) domestic environment. In this way, these case studies demonstrate the interplay and melding of physical and virtual “home” as domestic practices leach from the most private spaces of the physical home into the public space of the Internet (for discussion, see Gorman-Murray, Moss, and Rose). At the same time, online interaction can assert an influence on activity within the physical space of the home, through the sharing of advice about, and modeling of, domestic practices and processes.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: M/C Journal: A Journal of Media and Culture, v.10 (4)
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1441-2616
Field of Research (FOR): 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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