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Skype Mothers and Facebook Daughters: How Technology's Transforming Care Work in Transnational Families

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Valerie Francisco

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of Skype Mothers and Facebook Daughters: How Technology's Transforming Care Work in Transnational Families

Skype Mothers & Facebook Daughters:
Technology in Transnational Families

ABOUT THE
PROJECT

MANILA
HUSBAND: MAURICIO, KIDS: DIANNE AND Z
QUEENS
MOTHER: VICKIE
Research Questions
How is the family reorganized under the conditions of migration in globalization?
What are the different forms of care that emerge from all members of a transnational family?
How is family membership redefined?
Who takes on the
roles
of caregiving? How?
Multi-sited research
Interviews
50 domestic workers
Kabalikat
25 family members
Participant Observation
Participatory Analysis
QUEENILA
SKYPE MOTHERS
Surveillance and Presence
Skype Mother: Surveillance
Every Saturday, groceries, if time allows it laundry. Monday through Wednesday, I iron clothes. Vickie, now I’ve experienced how it is to cook and clean. That’s when I realized that mothers at home, their work is hard. What’s even more difficult is when she’s there. On webcam. My nerves, geez.
Mauricio, 55, Father in Manila
Skype Mother: Presence
I am a good mother in a different way not like I am there to take care of them. I have to sacrifice that privilege because I have to think of them and their future. The thing that helps me is Skype. Because in Skype you can see your family so that helps. I can see them before they go to school and before they go to bed.
Brenda, 38, Mother in NYC
FACEBOOK DAUGHTERS
Boundaries and Friendship
Facebook Kids: Friendship
I taught her how to make an account because then she’d have
something to bide her time with, the games on Facebook. Then when
she learned a lot more, she taught me so we could play games together.
Because that’s what helps her feel lighter.
Facebook Kids: Boundaries
Before, I don’t think about my posts. But one time she saw my pic, she said, because of what I was wearing. How improper! That’s why this person doesn’t like you! I think she feels that before…but its because of the technology that she sees it too. That’s why now, when I post, I pretend that I wear something nice. I 'hide' other things from her so she doesn’t see.
Althea, 23, Daughter in Manila
Facebook Kids: Friendship
I learn about my youngest son on Facebook, that’s when I found out what he’s good at, you know, his hidden talents. When he was small, he used to dance but now he really performs! Then he uploads any video, I comment and then he comments. I know his likes.
Rutsi, 48, Mother in NYC
CONCLUSIONS
MIGRANTS:
MOTHERS,
DAUGHTERS
SISTERS
NON-MIGRANT
FAMILIES:
CHILDREN,
SPOUSES
NON-MIGRANT KIN:
PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS,
KIN, FRIENDS
Different Tech, Different Purposes
New Caregivers through Tech
Care Work is Multiple
So Close But Yet So Far
CARING FROM A DISTANCE
THANK YOU!
Methods: 2008-2011
ROLE:
Sole Supporter
FORM:
Biological Family
Migrant
Family Left Behind
DEFINITION:
Remittances
ROLE:
Together through Tech
FORM:
Biological & Fictive
Migrant
Family Left Behind
DEFINITION:
Stability
Multidirectionality of Care
Maya, 16, Daughter in Manila
How do you use Facebook or Skype?
Labor Brokerage State
Labor Export Policy
Gendered Logic
Migration is a nation-building project
Labor brokerage an entry to neoliberal global economy
Gender and family as part of the rubric
Normalization of family separation
Institutionalization of Migration
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
Overseas Workers Welfare Agency
Market Research
Headhunters
Recruitment Agencies
$24 Billion Remittance Industry
"Bagong Bayani" or Modern Day Heroes
4,500 migrants leave daily
Full transcript