There is increasing interest in the influence of digital technologies on everyday life. The Scottish Government’s ambition is to increase the use of broadband across all communities in Scotland. Aims to improve the digital health of our population, to promote internet safety, and use technologies to support learning are well established. The digital families programme will add to this growing body of knowledge by providing opportunities to explore the increasing presence of domestic digital technologies within family life, and to debate both the benefits and pressures these technologies bring. Organised within three groupings – childhoods, family life and older age and caring – the programme will address a range of issues, including:

  • the different experiences of rural and urban families;
  • the role of digital communication in the lives of trans-national families;
  • the impact of digital technologies on cross generational relationships within families;
  • the contributions that digital technologies can have in maintaining and developing social networks across the lifecourse;
  • the effect of digital technologies on education, work/life balance, lifelong learning and wellbeing; and
  • the social and economic inequalities that arise from different access to, and adoption and use of, technologies across the lifecourse
  • the differential experiences of ‘digital natives’ vs ‘digital immigrants’

This programme will consider these issues within a broader political and social context, to focus our understandings of the impact of domestic technologies on family life and to create a vision for research, policy and practice in Scotland in 2016 and beyond.

Programme Team

Dr Sarah Morton, University of Edinburgh
Prof. Natasha Mauthner, University of Aberdeen
Clare Simpson, Parenting Across Scotland
Prof. Samantha Punch, University of Stirling
Lesley Kelly, University of Edinburgh

Final Report


Watch the extended version with reactions and analysis from some of the programme's key participants:  

Full length video