Family Life in Polymedia

Madianou, Mirca. 2018. Family Life in Polymedia. In: Zizi Papacharissi, ed. A Networked Self and Birth, Life, Death. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 89-103. ISBN 9781351784115 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter explores the consequences of social and mobile media for families separated because of work. The way in which transnational families maintain long distance relationships has been transformed by the increasingly ubiquitous presence of communication environments, understood here as polymedia. Drawing on long-term ethnographic work with transnational families, I will argue that polymedia become integral to the way family relationships are enacted and experienced. Although communication technologies do not solve the problems associated with long-term separation they do engender new forms of co-presence and intimacy which have powerful emotional consequences - both positive and negative - for relationships at a distance. Transnational families come into being in (rather than with) polymedia, revealing aspects of mediation that are relevant for personal relationships more broadly.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


7 August 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2018 12:21

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2021 13:08


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