EMILY TROWELL  ©  2019

  • Emily Trowell

The Infrastructures of an [IM]Mobile Family Life



Cemore are happy to present our Visiting Researcher Earvin Charles Cabalquinto’s seminar titled THE INFRASTRUCTURES OF AN [IM[MOBILE FAMILY LIFE 18th June, 1-3pm Bowland North SR12


In his book entitled Mobilities, the late British Sociologist John Urry (2007) argued that technological advancements in transport and communication technologies have reconfigured social life in the twenty first century. In critically reflecting upon the intense and diverse movements of peoples, goods, services, finances, and digital information across vast distances, Urry (2007) presented the different and interconnected types of mobilities that shape a mobile life. Importantly, Urry (2007) problematised how corporeal and non-corporeal movements are performed unevenly as a result of an asymmetrical distribution of power and resources in a global society. In this presentation, I attempt to provide a vantage point in extending the mobilities lens (Urry, 2007) in the context of media and communications (Keightley & Reading, 2014) and in a transnational context. Specifically, I deploy the mobilities lens in unpacking the role of ubiquitous mobile devices and networked communications platforms in shaping the performance, embodiment, experience, and negotiation of transnational family life. Based on an ethnographic study of the ways which transnational families in Melbourne, Australia use digital communication technologies in sustaining a home from afar, I propose to theorise technologically mediated mobilities by paying attention to the material and social infrastructures that engender and undermine mobile and transnational communication. These infrastructures include socio-cultural, socio-economic, socio-political, and socio-technological dimensions. Ultimately, the presentation aims to shed light on the complexity and resource-driven transnational mobilities among geographically separated family members set against the backdrop of globalising economies and digital cultures. In summary, taking into account the pivotal role of interconnected infrastructures in shaping mediated movements, this paper unravels the dynamics, textures and tensions built on an [im]mobile domestic environments.


The original post can be found @ https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/cemore/the-infrastructures-of-an-immobile-family-life/