Grandparental Adoption of Modern Communication Technology and Its Impact on Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships

With rapid advancement of communication technology, almost every young adult utilizes email, cellphones, and texting. Modern communication technology (MCT) has become an indispensable device among young adults. However, it is unclear the extent to which older adults have adopted such MCT in their daily lives. Less is clear whether or not adoption of such MCT by grandparents has influenced their relationships with grandchildren. The current study, based on an IRB-approved online survey conducted at a midsize university in the Midwest United States of America, examined young adult grandchildren’s (N = 470) perceptions of their relationships with grandparents and how they may relate to grandparental use of MCT. Cellphones (71.7%) were most widely adopted by the participants’ grandparents, followed by email (42.6%); only 11.9 percent of the participants’ grandparents were texting users. Grandparental gender effects were revealed in their adoption of MCT. Path analysis, a form of structural equation modeling, revealed that the length of grandparental adoption of these devices positively predicted GP-GC communication frequency, which subsequently predicted GP-GC closeness. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Media Regulation, Competition Policy and Cross-ownership Schemes: The Case of Greece

The regulation of media, which is an important sector within broad cultural economy, runs into substantive difficulties when it interfaces with competition regulation. In this paper, the Greek experience on media regulation is discussed as a research input for the development of a theoretical approach that involves competition analysis. This discussion takes place in relation to similar international developments with a special focus on the Australian experience. In the Greek case, serious attempts to regulate aggressive media groups based on their market share and their involvement in other forms of business have failed because of incompatibility with competition law and erroneous restrictive regulation for political reasons. Therefore, the relation between media, family businesses, and cross-ownership schemes must be examined further. An analytical approach is proposed through the development of a basic model of private benefits for media based on core cross-ownership theory. The model demonstrates that cross-ownership schemes in the media can produce inefficient economic outcomes with high agency costs. The paper focuses on the possible interface of the media policy with the competition policy and the need to separate those two processes, since competition policy fundamentally addresses economic outcomes while media regulation deals with non-economic ones. Still, to the extent that the media are dominated by family businesses and cross-ownership schemes that are involved in other businesses, they can produce ineffective economic outcomes and agency costs in exchange for large private benefits (in the case of Greece, mainly from public contracts). Thus, the development of regulation on media requires a greater level of sophistication on the part of policy-makers so that the difficulties stemming from cross-ownership can be successfully addressed.

Taboo Topics Transformed: How HIV/AIDS Profoundly Altered Public Communication

HIV/AIDS has taken a devastating global death toll, but it has also engendered far-reaching social consequences. HIV/AIDS has significantly reshaped media agendas, drawing public attention to the evolving medical and social devastation of the disease. In less than four decades, HIV/AIDS rose from obscurity to a cultural catalyst that restructured social institutions and irrevocably changed public discourse across the globe. Words and images once considered taboo routinely appear in all forms of mass communication, pervade children’s education, influence personal relationships, and affect public policy. The post-HIV/AIDS world is a vastly different place than it was before the 1980s. The struggle to communicate across cultural divides, to foster tolerance and promote human rights for HIV-positive people continues, but the conversation is taking place in public forums, using specific words and images. This article explores how HIV/AIDS profoundly changed society’s cultural institutions by transforming media and public discussions about the disease.