TO EXPLORE HOW FAMILIES from various backgrounds negotiated the introduction of new media into their home lives, I worked with a variety of research assistants to conduct in-depth and focus group interviews and observations with a total of 343 people over the course of eleven years (2001–12).1 These interviews took place in urban, suburban, and rural areas near New York City, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We interviewed a total of 194 teens and preteens between the ages of eleven and eighteen, as well as eighty-six of their parents and sixtythree of their younger siblings. We conducted repeated interviews with fifty family groups and also asked several of the teens we met in these family groups as well as some teens from other locales to put together discussion groups with their friends, resulting in twenty discussion groups.
The earliest interviews (2001–6) were conducted by Monica Emerich, Curtis Coats, Michele Miles, Denice Walker, Christof Demont-Heinrich, Scott Webber, and AnnaMaria Russo as part of a project overseen by Stewart Hoover and myself at the University of Colorado. All of the interviewers were doctoral students at the time of the interviewing, and they interviewed forty-six family groups, interviewing the families together and then individual family members separately in Seattle, Washington, D.C., Denver, and Los Angeles. Michele, Monica, and Scott then also conducted nine focus groups with thirtyfive members of the friendship circles of some of the young people from those original family groups.
Working with Rachel Monserrate, Caroline Davidson, Colette Holst, Alexis Lynn, and Deidre Helton of the University of Denver, nine focus groups and eight additional indepth interviews (2007–12) were conducted with a total of sixty young people.2 Students in the University of Denver’s Qualitative Research Methods classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 conducted additional interviews and observations with four family groups (eight parents, eight teens), and I conducted two informal discussion group interviews with twenty-four parents, adding another forty people to the sample. These interviews were conducted in three different urban and suburban areas in Colorado. About a third of this group were young people and parents from lower-income and would-be middle-class families and two-thirds were in middle- and upper-middle-class families.