This edited collection interrogates the diversity of transnational migration experiences in the Asia-Pacific through the lens of digital ethnography in order to explore the transformative effects digital media plays in these experiences. While there has been work on the various ways in which internet communication technologies (ICTs) particularly mobile communication allows for various forms of connectivity between individuals and groups in this age of hyper (transnational) mobility, there is a scarcity on the way digital media presents challenges, creates agency and alters relationships within the broad umbrella of the transnational migration experience. The authors in this collection– who come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds across social, cultural, education and communication research – present cutting edge cross and trans disciplinary analyses of transnational migration where digital media becomes a creative, if not fundamental avenue, for migrants to develop new strategies for dealing with their cross-border mobilities.
List of Figures / Acknowledgements/ Introduction/ PART 1. THE NEW CHALLENGES DIGITAL MEDIA CREATES IN UNDERSTANDING THE TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION EXPERIENCE / 1. Navigating Online Down Under: International Students’ Digital Journeys in Australia by Shanton Chang, Catherine Gomes and Fran Martin / 2. Bridging Parental Expectations and Children’s Aspirations: Creative Strategies in Migrant Students’ Mediated Communication with their Left-behind Families by Becky Pham and Sun Sun Lim / PART 2. NEW FORMS OF AGENCY DIGITAL MEDIA FACILITATES / 3. Chapter 3: Fight Back through Facebook: Retaliating against Local Gossip and Creating New Identities by Monika Winarnita and Nicholas Herriman / 4. Indian Migrants and their Transnational Families: Communication across Time and Borders by Supriya Singh / 5. A Sense of Belonging: Social Media Use of Latin American migrants in Australia by Glenda Mejía, Trinidad Espinosa Abascal and Val Colic-Peisker / PART 3. THE EXPERIENCES OF DIGITAL MEDIA TO ALTER RELATIONSHIPS IN THE TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION EXPERIENCE / 6. Social Media and the Refugee Experience: Young People Negotiating Displacement in an Age of Connectivity by Raelene Wilding and Sandra Gifford / 7. Beyond Emoji Play: Paralinguistics and Intergenerational Care-at-Distance by Larissa Hjorth, Sarah Pink, Heather Horst, Jolynna Sinanan, Kana Ohashi, Fumi Kato and Baohua Zhou / 8. Migrant Mothers and Left-Behind Families: The Rituals of Communication and the Reconstitution of Familyhood Across Transnational Space and Time by Kristel A. Acedera, Brenda S.A. Yeoh and Maruja M.B. Asis / 9. Perth Calling: Media, Mobility and Imaginaries by Susan Leong / Conclusion/ Contributors
Depicting mobilities in both the virtual and the physical worlds, this edited volume marks the frontier of international migration research. These empirically grounded studies show that digital media has not only transformed cross-border migration experiences but also their theorization.
Transnational mobilites and digital technologies are bringing us into the interconnected One World and at the same time the Many Worlds that are created by different groups parallel to one another. This book breaks new ground by revealing how new types of social relations and individual subjectivities are emerging from these critical developments.
Transnational and transformative, this book is an important contribution on digitalised migrants in Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Of interest to Anthropology, Sociology, Media/Communication Studies, and Migration and Refugee Studies, it provides a number of richly detailed case studies that go beyond mere connectivity to emphasise the affective, playful and influential aspects of social media in the lives of migrants as well as the underexplored area of left-behind families and friends in all their multiple facets.
Brenda S. A. Yeoh is a Professor in the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore
Catherine Gomes is an Associate Professor at the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University.