De-demonizing distance in mobile family lives: Co-presence, care circulation and polymedia as vibrant matter

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Abstract

© 2016 The Author(s) Global Networks © 2016 Global Networks Partnership & John Wiley & Sons Ltd. A growing literature is addressing the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on transnational family relationships and the ability of family members to be co-present (emotionally 'there' for each other) across distance. In this article, I examine how relatively wealthy, middle-class Australian migrants use ICTs to achieve a sense of satisfactory distant co-presence with their transnational family members. I draw on the concepts of polymedia, vibrant matter and care circulation to explore how families are using ICTs in ways that are transforming forms of co-presence, as well as some of the pitfalls inherent in their use. I argue that these new forms of co-presence augment existing reciprocities and obligations and are facilitating ever-more dynamic and multifaceted relationships across distance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-163
JournalGlobal Networks
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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