New Media’s Role within the Community of American Military Families

By Margaret C. Stewart and Mary Beth Leidman.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Civilian family members of military personnel utilize all available technologies to facilitate communication during times of familial geographic separation brought about by military operations or wartime deployments. The emergence of new media platforms is increasingly pervasive within our global culture, and has become preferred outlets of interpersonal communication for modern maintenance of relationships (Levinson, 2009; Ramirez & Broneck, 2009). Existing research illustrates that the community of the American military spouses rely heavily on mediated communication to sustain their relationships; however, the implications of these interactions are yet to be established (Merolla & Steinberg, 2007; Merolla, 2010). This study gathered and analyzed data from ten American military spouses to learn more about the role of new media platforms such as Facebook and Skype in maintaining their relationships, the use of new media in sustaining computer-mediated communication within spousal relationships, and the impact of these channels on the couples’ communication behavior during wartime deployment. The findings yield five themes, with community as one of the leading outcomes.

Keywords: New Media, Computer-mediated communication, Military community

Journal of Technologies in Society, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 238.321KB).

Dr. Margaret C. Stewart

Assistant Professor, Division of Arts and Sciences, Neumann University, Aston, Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Mary Beth Leidman

Professor, Department of Communications Media, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA