Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] New book The Internet of Toys

Mon Feb 11 11:27:04 GMT 2019

New Book Announcement

  *The Internet of Toys Practices, Affordances and the Political Economy
  of Children’s Smart Play *

Giovanna Mascheroni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) and Donell Holloway (Edith Cowan University) (Eds.)

The Internet of Toys (IoToys) is a developing market within our Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. This book examines the rise of internet-connected toys and aims to anticipate the opportunities and risks of IoToys before their widespread diffusion. Contributors to this volume each provide a critical analysis of the design, production, regulation, representation and consumption of internet-connected toys.  In order to address the theoretical, methodological and policy questions that arise from the study of these new playthings, and contextualise the diverse opportunities and challenges that IoToys pose to educators, families and children themselves, the chapters engage with notions of mediatization, datafication, robotification, connected and post-digital play. This timely engagement with a key transformation in children’s play will appeal to all readers interested in understanding the social uses and consequences of IoToys, and primarily to researchers and students in children and media, early childhood studies, media and communications, sociology, education, social psychology, law and design.

*Praise for the book*



If you hadn’t already wondered about and worried about the ‘internet of toys,' you certainly will after reading this thought-provoking volume. For although much is written on our increasingly surveilled digital lives, little research has examined what it means to grow up having known nothing else. Yet while the reasons to fear a datafied future are immense, the empirical work with children is often heartening, bearing witness to their creativity and humanity."

SONIA LIVINGSTONE, author of ‘The Class: Living and learning in the digital age’

This edited collection is broad in scope and makes a unique contribution to current thinking in the fast-emerging area of the Internet of Toys. Researchers variously position the toys as consumer technologies, investigate privacy and safety concerns, analyse the integration of these toys into children’s play and consider design processes, with the editors pointing to possibilities for future research in the field. With its solid foundation in diverse scholarly perspectives encompassing social, political, technological and economic dimensions, this book is a must-read for anybody wanting to gain an overview of different approaches to understanding the phenomenon.

LYDIA PLOWMAN, author of ‘Growing Up With Technology: Young Children Learning in a Digital World’

The Internet of Things is the Wild West of surveillance capitalism and there is no more disturbing area than the internet-enabled toys, or “social robots” that shepherding children into the world of agency and play. The Internet of Toys cries out for critical examination by communications scholars, and Mascheroni and Holloway bring together a leading group of authors to examine both threats and opportunities in a comprehensive treatment that extends from law to political economy and methodology to phenomenology. A landmark collection.

NICK COULDRY, author of ‘The Mediated Construction of Reality’

Giovanna Mascheroni is Senior Lecturer of Sociology of Communication, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy.

Donell Holloway is Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University, Australia.

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