Migrants’ Reported Use of Communication Behaviors that Enact Family across Distance
Fesenmaier, Margaret Anna
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This study investigates reported migrant family communication. It starts by identifying the four key characteristics that combine to distinguish migrant families from other family types: 1) the condition of distance between family members; 2) the reliance on technology to communicate with family; 3) the reliance on discourse for family interaction; and 4) the important role of remittances in migrant family interaction. Then, drawing on in-depth interviews with migrants living in Seattle, WA (N = 43), the study identifies and elaborates on the specific communicative behaviors migrants reported they employ that manage and navigate family communication given each of these characteristics. Participants report engaging in a unique combination of technological, transactional, and functional behaviors that, this study argues, enact a sense of family across distance. In the end, this study contributes to our understanding of the complexity of family communication behaviors of migrants in the United States.
- Communications