Ph.D. candidate Andrew Nevin and Professor Scott Schieman recently published a co-authored article in The Sociological Quarterly, entitled, “Technological Tethering, Digital Natives, and Challenges in the Work–Family Interface.” The article discusses the phenomenon of “constant connectivity” and the ways in which it has fostered unrealistic expectations of worker availability. The authors explore the conflict that occurs between work-related communication outside of normal working hours and familial roles within the home.
Andrew Nevin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto. His research interests include: internet and technology, deviance, quantitative methods and social networks.
We have included the citation and abstract below. The full text of the article can be accessed through The Sociological Quarterly here.
This paper uses data from a 2011 survey of Canadian workers to examine complications in the work–family interface due to the rising expectations of constant connectivity – that is, technological tethering – between work and home domains. We analyze whether the relationship between job contact outside of normal hours and work-to-family conflict is differently experienced by cohorts of digital natives versus digital immigrants. Digital natives’ unique upbringing in a technology-driven sociocultural landscape has led to widespread assumptions regarding their heightened ability to handle communication demands delivered via work extending technologies. However, we find that being a digital native does not weaken the focal relationship, irrespective of additional gender and occupational status contingencies. We discuss the implications of this null finding for theoretical views about digital natives, as well as for communication practices in the modern workforce.