MIGRATION, ICTS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF TRANSNATIONAL FAMILY LIFE

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Politics and International Studies

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
 
Description - For migrant mothers with left-behind children developments in digital media represent a transformation in the performance of transnational mothering.

- The success of transnational communication for left-behind children depends on three factors: the age of the child during the mother's migration; the quality of the pre-existing relationship; and the media available for communication.

- New communication technologies are becoming integral to how transnational relationships are experienced even if they cannot solve problems of separation.

- One of the most profound consequences of digital media is that they transform the whole experience of migration as they increasingly frame key decisions regarding migration itself and settlement in the UK.

- Inequalities in access and digital literacy have significant consequences for the quality of transnational relationships: for Filipino migrants with young children left behind, access to new media is essential for establishing a relationship with their children and for their own emotional wellbeing; for left-behind families internet-based communication can correct the asymmetry of phone-based communication which remains prohibitively expensive. Digital media are not luxuries for transnational families; they are essential resources for everyday life.

- The legal status of migrants is correlated to their dependency on new media. Undocumented migrants are almost entirely dependent on new media for keeping in touch with their left-behind children or partners.

- Access to affordable means of communication is essential for migrants with left-behind families. Developing digital literacies is also of fundamental significance and needs to be supported by those organisations dealing with migrant workers.

- We have developed a new concept and theory of 'polymedia' to understand the proliferating communicative opportunities as a structured environment rather than a list of discrete technologies. In a polymedia environment each medium is defined relationally to alternatives; furthermore, the choice of medium acquires communicative intent as users exploit media functionalities to manage their relationships.

- Our transnational methodology was crucial for understanding the consequences of migration. If we had only conducted research in the UK, or in the sending countries our findings would have been significantly different.
Exploitation Route The outcomes can help shape policies on migration and transnational families / family reunification in particular. Our findings are also relevant to policies regarding non-migrant populations who maintain relationships at a distance. More broadly our outcomes are also relevant for policies on the role of social and mobile media in family life; virtual or remote work; social media in friendships and sociality.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

 
Description The recommendations of the research study were adopted by a COFACE/ European Commission report (2013).
 
Description BBC Radio Documentary on Virtual Mothering 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed for BBC World Service Documentary on Virtual Mothering, broadcast on 22/5/18). The Documentary is a regular BBC world service programme which reaches thousands of people globally. The programme is available as a podcast after the initial broadcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csxgb5
 
Description Digital diasporas : migration, ICTs and transnationalism 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The conference addressed the convergence of two parallel developments: global migration and the proliferation of new media, which are having profound consequences for our transnational world. New developments in digital media are transforming the experience of migration with implications for family life, sociality and intimacy, identity and political involvement. Through a series of talks and panels, the conference assessed the impact of digital media on all aspects of migration.

Generated interest in research and future collaborations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/1328/
 
Description Distant mothering : the hidden injuries of migration? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited talk at the Anna Bidder Research Evenings, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Social Science, Yunnan University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Cultural Studies, University of Western Sydney
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Paper given to Deptartment of Communications, University of Catalunya

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Public lecture to Deptartment of Social Science, Reykjavik University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Anthropology, University of Melbourne
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Public lecture to Arts Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Facebook, media and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Media and Communication, University of Queensland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Interview in BBC Radio 4 programme 'Word of Mouth' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio 4 interview (Word of Mouth) on the emotional consequences of social media use within families. The programme is available as a podcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0714nj0
 
Description Interview with Toby Miller (cultural studies podcasts) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Mirca Madianou interviewed by Toby Miller about the 'Humanitarian Technologies' and 'Migration and New Media' Projects. The podcast was downloaded more than 570 times within the first month. Two further interview requests followed up.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://culturalstudies.podbean.com/e/mirca-madianou-on-humanitarian-technologies-crisis-and-migratio...
 
Description Invited speaker and participant at the Media, Migration and Xenophobia Conference, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Conference Centre, Lake Como, 16-20 October 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited speaker and participant at the Media, Migration and Xenophobia Conference, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Conference Centre, Lake Como, 16-20 October 2017 organized by the UN with participants from the aid and media sectors. The main conference output was the UN-commissioned report on Xenophobia, Migration and the role of the media which was published in 2018: https://i.unu.edu/media/gcm.unu.edu/attachment/4356/Bellagio-web-03ix18.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://i.unu.edu/media/gcm.unu.edu/attachment/4356/Bellagio-web-03ix18.pdf
 
Description Long distance care? : migration, transnational families and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Transnational families which are separated as a consequence of the international division of labour are becoming more

frequent, but research has yet to establish the ways in which care and intimacy are

affected. A research project led by Dr Mirca Madianou, in collaboration with Professor Daniel Miller, investigates this

relatively unexplored dimension of globalisation and asks what is the role of

ICTs (internet and mobile phones) in the context of transnational family life.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
URL http://www.cshss.cam.ac.uk/news/relay/current.pdf
 
Description Mediating migration : ICTs and long distance relationships among Filipino transnational families 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited talk at the weekly departmental Seminar, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Mediating migration : new media and distant mothering in Filipino transnational families 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited talk at the seminar series of the Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Mediating migration : polymedia and transnational family communication 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact The phenomenon of left-behind children within transnational families is widely assumed to be one of the hidden injuries of globalisation. This paper asks whether the massive transformation in new communications technologies over the last few years has had an impact on the ability of transnational families to cope with separation. For example, a migrant mother in London can now call and text her left-behind children in the Philippines several times a day, peruse social networking sites and leave the webcam on for 12 hours achieving a sense of co-presence. In this talk I will draw on a three year comparative ethnography of Filipino migrant women in the UK and their left-behind children in the Philippines which was part for the ESRC-funded Project: Migration, ICTs and Transnational families conducted in collaboration with Daniel Miller. In my talk I will contrast the perspectives of migrant mothers and left-behind children. Whilenew communication technologies allow mothers to feel empowered in reconstituting their maternal identities, their left-behind children remainsignificantly more ambivalent about the consequences of transnational communication. Although new media, understood as an emerging environment of polymedia, cannot solve relationship problems, they do become increasingly integral to the way relationships are enacted and experienced. Moreover, I will conclude that they are also beginning to transform the wider experience of migration as they affect key decisions relating to migration or settlement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Mediating migration : polymedia and transnational family communication 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact The phenomenon of left-behind children within transnational families is widely assumed to be one of the hidden injuries of globalisation. This paper asks whether the massive transformation in new communications technologies over the last few years has had an impact on the ability of transnational families to cope with separation. For example, a migrant mother in London can now call and text her left-behind children in the Philippines several times a day, peruse social networking sites and leave the webcam on for 12 hours achieving a sense of co-presence. In this talk I will draw on a three year comparative ethnography of Filipino migrant women in the UK and their left-behind children in the Philippines which was part for the ESRC-funded Project: Migration, ICTs and Transnational families conducted in collaboration with Daniel Miller. In my talk I will contrast the perspectives of migrant mothers and left-behind children. Whilenew communication technologies allow mothers to feel empowered in reconstituting their maternal identities, their left-behind children remainsignificantly more ambivalent about the consequences of transnational communication. Although new media, understood as an emerging environment of polymedia, cannot solve relationship problems, they do become increasingly integral to the way relationships are enacted and experienced. Moreover, I will conclude that they are also beginning to transform the wider experience of migration as they affect key decisions relating to migration or settlement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Migration and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Paper given to Anthropolgy Department at University of East London - UEL

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Migration and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Paper given to Anthropolgy Department at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Migration and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Cultural Studies, University of West Indies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Migration and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Public lecture to Philosophy and Music Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Migration and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Cultural Studies, University of West Indies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Migration, ICTs and transnational families 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited speaker at CRASSH's Digital Humanities seminar series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Migration, transnational families and new media 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Presented key findings to the launch workshop of the Leicester Migration Research Network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Mothers, material culture and migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Paper withing workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Privacy and parenting by mobile phone 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview about ESRC research on BBC Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012l4p1
 
Description Radio documentary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio documentary featuring the Transnational families research and interview with Dr. Madianou. The documentary was produced by Anna Burns and featured on Goldsmiths Website. It was subsequently broadcast by Resonance FM on August 28th 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gold.ac.uk/new-x-change/
 
Description Radio interview (BBC Radio 4 - Pick of the week) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Radio 4, 'Pick of the Week'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071s6pq
 
Description Research on transnational families 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture to Deptartment of Communication, Ateneo University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Social Science Bites Podcast 'Technology in Everyday Life' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Social Science Bites is produced by SAGE and invites leading social scientists to present their perspectives on how our social world is created, and how social science can help us understand people and how they behave. Dr. Madianou was invited to discuss her work on the role of media technologies in everyday life focusing in particular on her ESRC funded projects 'Transnational Families and communication technologies' and 'Humanitarian Technologies'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.socialsciencespace.com/about-socialsciencebites/
 
Description Technologies of motherhood : migration, new media and maternal ambivalence 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited talk at the weekly seminar, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Cambridge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
URL http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/whatson/detail.shtml?uid=f2721a5d-5eb3-3119-a1ce-7e8b5a6c0913