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Migration and New Media: Transnational Families and Polymedia



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This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 1/17/2012.

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How do parents and children care and look after each other when they are separated because of migration? The way in which families maintain long distance communication has been revolutionised by the emergence of a variety of internet- and mobile phone-based platforms including email, instant messaging , social networking sites , videocalling and texting. These platforms have created a new communicative environment, which the authors call polymedia ". We are now in an era when it is possible to maintain intimacy and care at a distance. Such communicative opportunities may even play a role in shaping decisions relating to migration and settlement. Drawing on a long-term ethnographic study of prolonged separation between transnational Filipino migrant mothers in the UK and their left-behind children in the Philippines, this book is intended as a major contribution to theory in social science. It is unique in the way it provides firstly a theory of the new experience of media itself, as polymedia. This is complemented by a theory of relationships based on an analysis of mother-child communication. In the final chapter the authors seek to go beyond both media studies and anthropology to construct a new theory of mediated relationships that combines findings from both disciplines and has considerable importance for the social sciences more generally.

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