Goldsmiths - University of London

Mobile phone parenting: Reconfiguring relationships between Filipina migrant mothers and their left-behind children

Madianou, Mirca and Miller, Daniel. 2011. Mobile phone parenting: Reconfiguring relationships between Filipina migrant mothers and their left-behind children. New Media & Society, 13(3), pp. 457-470. ISSN 1461-4448 [Article]

Mobile phone parenting NMS Accepted version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (231kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The Philippines is an intensely migrant society with an annual migration of one million people, leading to over a tenth of the population working abroad. Many of these emigrants are mothers who often have children left behind. Family separation is now recognized as one of the social costs of migration affecting the global south. Relationships within such transnational families depend on long-distance communication and there is an increasing optimism among Filipino government agencies and telecommunications companies about the consequences of mobile phones for transnational families. This article draws on comparative research with UK-based Filipina migrants – mainly domestic workers and nurses – and their left-behind children in the Philippines. Our methodology allowed us to directly compare the experience of mothers and their children. The article concludes that while mothers feel empowered that the phone has allowed them to partially reconstruct their role as parents, their children are significantly more ambivalent about the consequences of transnational communication.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):



ethnography, migration, mobilephones, parenting, Philippines, separation, transnational families, UK

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media and Communications



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2015 15:57

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 14:00

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/11118

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)