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Subject:

CAMRI Seminar Nov 6: Mirca Madianou on transnational families and mediated family life at a distance

From:

Christian Fuchs <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Media, Communications & Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) - Policy Network" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 22:56:23 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

Mirca Madianou (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Family life at a distance: polymedia and ambient co-presence in
transnational families.
Wednesday, Nov 6
14:00-16:00
University of Westminster, Harrow Campus (Metropolitan Line, stop
"Northwick Park")
Room A7.03

Registration is possible at latest until Sun, Nov 3, per e-mail to
[log in to unmask]

Abstract
Transnational families are becoming increasingly prevalent in the
context of the feminisation of migration partly fuelled by the demand
for care and domestic workers in the global North.  Many of these new
migrants are mothers who leave their children behind. Family separation
and the phenomenon of the left-behind children are largely seen as one
of the hidden injuries of globalisation: the high social cost the
developing nations must pay in return for the remittances which keep
their economies afloat. Parallel to these developments is the explosion
of new communications technologies over the past 2-3 years. Now a
Filipina migrant mother in London can use a plethora of platforms –such
as phone calls, text, email, IM, Skype and social networking sites such
as facebook – to keep in touch with her children. But what are the
contours of this ‘connected family life’ and what role does the new
environment of ‘polymedia’ (Madianou and Miller, 2012) play?
In my talk I will report on a long-term ethnography of Filipina migrant
mothers in the UK and their children who remain in the Philippines
(2007-2010 with a follow-up in 2012-13). By contrasting the perspectives 
of migrants and their left-behind children I observe that the 
communicative environment of ‘polymedia’ cannot solve thes ocial
problems of relationships or of prolonged separation. However, I will
argue that new media have profound consequences for the ways migrants
and their families experience and manage long distance relationships.
The arrival of smartphones has further accentuated the mediation of
these relationships by introducing new forms of ‘ambient co-presence’
(Madianou, 2014). Moreover, new communication technologies can have
further unexpected consequences (for example, contributing to the
justification of decisions relating to migration and settlement)
pointing to a wider transformation of the phenomenon of migration.

Mirca Madianou is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at
Goldsmiths, University of London. She previously taught at the
Universities of Cambridge (2004-2011) and Leicester (2011-13). Between
2007-2011 she was PI on the ESRC project ‘Migration, ICTs and
transnational families’. She is the author of Mediating the Nation:
news, audiences and the politics of identity (2005) and Migration and
New Media: transnational families and polymedia (with Daniel Miller,
2011) and the co-editor of Ethics of Media (with Nick Couldry and Amit
Pinchevski, 2013). Her current research examines the social consequences 
of new media environments in non-Western contexts, focusing specifically 
on migrant networks and transnational family communication.

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