The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
FIGURE 2.1 Penetration of various household
devices in the U.S. market over the 20th century.
SOURCE: Data from Belinfante (1991), Electronic Industries
Association (1984-1990, 1992),
Television Bureau of Advertising (1991), and U.S. Bureau of the
Census (1986, 1990-1992).
media across multitudes of channels. Figure 2.1 shows trends in
acquisition of devices such as personal computers compared with
ownership of two consumer staplesrefrigerators and
automobiles. If one could lift the roof from the characteristic
U.S. home, one would see that it looks increasingly like a
multiplex theater. What once took place in the town square, in the
neighborhood tavern, on market day, or in the library can now occur
as easily in the study or in the bedroom. Computers and advanced
communications are also playing increasingly significant roles in
community organizations and in education.
2.1.1 Computer Use in the Home
Computer use in the home is a relatively recent phenomenon, and
one that has changed considerably in the past two decades. At
first, a majority of use was work-related. Today computers are more
accepted as a household technology, with an increasing amount of
software and other development targeted to the home. (For further
discussion and a model for the interaction of the household and
technology, see Venkatesh, 1996.)
Descriptive studies of computer use in the home are relatively
rare and almost always very "thin," that is, based on a small
number of survey questions.