Author

Sharon Storch

Date of Award

12-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communications Media

First Advisor

Anna Victoria Ortiz Juarez-Paz

Second Advisor

Zachary Stiegler

Third Advisor

B. Gail Wilson

Abstract

Mobile devices and their rapid progression has been a focus in communication research in terms of their impact within various areas of our lives. Due to the mobile device’s communicative power to shape our lives in terms of how we interact professionally and domestically, engagement decisions and work:life boundaries have become an everyday challenge. This dissertation sought to research engagement with these technological devices and the subsequent implications on relationships specifically by exploring the usage of mobile devices for professional (work) purposes within the domestic (nonwork) sphere. The researcher interviewed 32 participants and three pertinent themes emerged from the data: Control, Sentiments, and Influences. An unexpected theme surfaced on participants’ experiences with using the mobile device for domestic (nonwork) purposes within the professional (work) sphere. This study is unique because it uses both Domestication Theory (DT) and Work/Family Border Theory as the guiding theories. Participants elucidated the domestication of the mobile device for professional purposes within the domestic sphere, thereby allowing communication scholars to understand the incorporation stage of DT. Participants shared their successful and unsuccessful experiences managing the border between work and family. Exploring their experiences alongside the nuances of the Work/Family Border Theory resulted in a proposed update to the Work/Family Border Model. This update includes the placement of the border and revisions to the industry permeations. In consideration of the revised model, the researcher suggests testing that model from various methodological approaches and from various communicative perspectives.

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