Logo
Logo

Goldsmiths - University of London

Ambient co-presence: transnational family practices in polymedia environments

Madianou, Mirca. 2016. Ambient co-presence: transnational family practices in polymedia environments. Global Networks, 16(2), pp. 183-201. ISSN 1470-2266 [Article]

[img]
Preview
Text (Ambient co-presence: transnational family practices in polymedia environments)
GN Ambient copresence.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (284kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

In this article, I develop an argument about a new type of mediated co-presence termed ‘ambient co-presence’, which is the peripheral, yet intense awareness of distant others made possible through the affordances of ubiquitous media environments. Drawing on a long-term ethnography of UK-based Filipino migrants and their communication practices with their transnational families, I observe the increasing prevalence of an ‘always on’ culture of ubiquitous connectivity. The functions of a social networking site (SNS) such as the ‘news feed’, combined with the portability of internet-enabled devices and locative services, mean that users can be peripherally, yet constantly aware of the actions and daily rhythms of their peers. This peripheral awareness, which can be pervasive, complements other types of mediated co-presence and has powerful emotional consequences – both positive and negative – for relationships at a distance. Participants with weak relationships reported an increase in conflict especially through opportunities for surveillance. By contrast, those who enjoyed strong relationships associated ambient co-presence with low-level emotional reassurance. In this article, I also observe that ambient co-presence has implications for community and belonging. Notwithstanding the development of online norms that are culturally specific, I argue that the concept of ambient co-presence can have cross-cultural relevance for understanding the consequences of mediated communication.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

10.1111/glob.12105

Additional Information:

The work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant number RES-000-22-2266).

Keywords:

SOCIAL MEDIA, WEBCAM, TRANSNATIONAL FAMILIES, INTIMACY AT A DISTANCE, SMARTPHONES , LOCATIVE MEDIA, ETHNOGRAPHY

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media and Communications

Dates:

DateEvent
March 2016Published

Item ID:

16986

Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2016 10:46

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 14:40

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/16986

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)