(Im)mobile Homes

(Im)mobile Homes : Family Life at a Distance in the Age of Mobile Media

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The home has been on the forefront of rapid economic, political, social, and technological transformations for many individuals and families across the world. As a country reliant on the exportation of human labor to sustain its national economy, the Philippines exemplifies a valuable case study of the impacts of a globalized and networked society on the everyday dynamics of a transnational family arrangement. Despite ranking among the heaviest Internet users in the
world, Filipino citizens are often left with no choice but to navigate digital and transnational environments orchestrated by the uneven distribution of both national and international resources and opportunities.

(Im)mobile Homes investigates the role of smartphones, social media channels, and various mobile applications in forging and sustaining intimate ties among dispersed Filipino family members. Examining the digital lifeworlds of transnational Filipino family in Australia, this volume draws on rich ethnographic study to explore the benefits of digital communication as well as the tensions enabled by the influences of socio-cultural structures, socio-economic conditions, technological
affordances, and institutional policies and processes on mobile practices. It portrays the physically distributed yet virtually connected nature of the transnational Filipino family through diverse contexts, such as observing family rituals, performing intimate care, and managing crises, and foregrounds their
unique strategies in addressing the interruptions of connecting at a distance. Ultimately, this volume underscores how mobile practices of the transnational Filipino family negotiate the pre-existing and broader structural systems that (re)produce marginalization in a digital and global era.

Enriched by moving stories of transnational families, (Im)mobile Homes offers a critical lens towards interrogating the possibilities and politics of a home from afar in the digital era.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 156 x 235mm | 10g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 20 figures
  • 0197524834
  • 9780197524831

Table of contents




Chapter 1. Mediated (Im)mobilities

Chapter 2. Zones of Reterritorialized Domesticity: 'It's Like Leaving Messages on the Fridge'

Chapter 3. Homeland (Dis)connections: 'It's Like I'm in the Philippines'

Chapter 4. Restaging Interrupted Rituals: 'It's As If They're Beside Me'

Chapter 5. Mobile (Un)caring at a Distance: 'You Really Love Us My Son'

Chapter 6. Bittersweet Festivity: 'We're Not Only Here but We're Also There in Spirit'

Chapter 7. Digital Lifeline in Turbulent Times: 'As Long as They're Okay, I'm Okay'

8. An (Im)mobile Home and Beyond

Methodological Appendix
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Review quote

This book is an inspiring analysis of the separated condition that millions of migrants and their distant families find themselves in. Earvin Cabalquinto expertly combines digital media, migration, and mobilities research to show us innovative ways of living with loved ones at a distance while also bringing into stark relief conditions and experiences of inequality and colonial path dependencies. A really engaging and interesting read, and highly recommended. * Monika Buscher, Lancaster University * This poignant book chronicles the lives of Filipino transnational migrants and their families who continue to find ways to create a sense of home through mobile communication technologies. Cabalquinto presents an empathetic and nuanced account that highlights not only the creativity and commitment to maintaining connections with family but also the broader structures such as the state and familial expectations that fundamentally shape the possibilities for their
(im)mobile homes. * Heather A. Horst, Western Sydney University * Earvin Cabalquinto paints an insightful and richly detailed picture of how technological mediation enables family life at a distance. This book makes a substantial contribution to the rapidly expanding fields of mobile communication and media and migration research. * Mirca Madianou, Goldsmiths, University of London * Full of resonating stories-from migrant parents torn apart from their children to family grudges that burrowed deep through the cracks of our modern digital communication-this is a powerful book about the everyday struggles of transnational families. Finely observed about the ambivalent possibilities for mediated connection in otherwise impossible situations, Earvin Cabalquinto's ethnography is a must-read for scholars, community organizers, tech
designers, and policymakers interested in the well-being of economic migrants. * Jonathan Corpus Ong, University of Massachusetts Amherst *
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About Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto

Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto is Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University. He is also a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University. His research agenda locates the potentialities and paradoxes nestled in the conduct of personal, familial, and social life at a distance via an ecology of mobile technologies and online platforms.
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