Family Rituals 2.0

Bichard, J.-A., Chatting, D., Clayton, W., Jain, J., Kirk, D., Ladkin, A., Marouda, M. and Yurman, P. (2015) Family Rituals 2.0. Project Report. Royal College of Art, London, UK. Available from:

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The notion of family is broad (and changing) and encompasses a variety of different social structures beyond the classic conception of the nuclear family yet it is a cornerstone of our social worlds. Even as many in ‘Western’ society follow the trend of isolated living, in single occupant dwellings, for most people, notions of home are intimately tied to notions of family. We form familial bonds (regardless of traditional notions of kinship), with those with whom we live. The rise of network society and the pervasiveness of digital technologies has however, meant that the boundaries between our working and domestic lives are becoming increasingly blurred. The impacts of this on home and family life are being further exacerbated by changes in our patterns of living, which are pushing us towards increased mobility and itinerant domesticity. Increasingly, life is marked by significant periods of absence from home and family, and increasingly we may turn to digital technologies to help us mediate that absence. Arguably, a core element of domestic life is its ritualistic aspects, which are important features of the functional and emotional landscape of the home. Wolin and Bennett (1984) have defined family ritual as “a symbolic form of communication that, owing to the satisfaction that family members experience through its repetition, is acted out in a systematic fashion over time.” Family Rituals 2.0 sought to understand the ritual activities that families engage in during periods of remote working, and to speculate on the potential roles of technology in mediating complex working family lives.

Item Type:Report or Working Paper (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords:family, mobile work, family ritual, work life balance, digital technology, routine, connection
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology
ID Code:28683
Deposited By: Dr W. Clayton
Deposited On:18 Apr 2016 13:47
Last Modified:08 Apr 2017 05:24

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