The Role of Perceptions of Risk and Trust in Family Practices Around Social Media Technologies

Katya Bozukova

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The role of social media technologies in family life, particularly in the lives of children, has been a growing part of academic and public discourse in the United Kingdom (Adams, 2019; Savage, 2019). Perceptions of risk and trust in social media technologies have been at the forefront of that discussion, with children being conceptualised as “digital natives”, having a fundamentally different relationship with technology than their parents, the “digital immigrants” (Prensky, 2001; Tapscott, 2009).

This thesis will use qualitative methods to explore the role of perceptions of risk and trust in family practices around social media. It will examine, firstly, the extent to which differential perceptions of risk and trust can be detected between parents and children in families living in the UK. Secondly, if differential perceptions cannot be detected, it will explore what other factors influence the family practices around social media technologies. The main argument is that there is not enough evidence to suggest a generational divide between parents and children as far as perceptions of social media go. However, there are other factors detected that influence the ways in which families approach social media, such as peer pressure, fear of exclusion, and the need for social capital. This thesis will argue that there is a need for an urgent revision of the discourse around social media, and risk, in order to prepare children for life in the digital world.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Denney, David, Supervisor
  • Coles-Kemp, Lizzie, Supervisor
  • Marriott, Jane, Supervisor
  • Jensen, Rikke Bjerg, Supervisor
  • Gabe, Jonathan, Advisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Jul 2020
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020


  • social media
  • family studies
  • family practices
  • risk
  • trust
  • cyberbullying
  • online grooming
  • security
  • sociology of technology
  • children's studies

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