Technologies of Transnational Aged Care over a Century of Italian-Australian Migration

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Loretta BALDASSAR, Anthropology and Sociology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Emanuela SALA, The University of Western Australia, Australia
Using the case study of a century long history of migration from Italy to Australia and fine-grained ethnographic longitudinal research data on the contemporary transnational relationships of several families, we compare the changes in the methods, modes and meanings of caregiving and kin work over time. Patterns of transnational caregiving in the past were more formulaic and ritualised but also often successfully delivered a sense of imagined copresence or ‘being together’. In contrast, patters of caregiving today can be experienced as immediate real-time expressions that more closely reflect the experience of actual copresence. In this paper, we argue that polymedia environments provide the conditions that are transforming the practices and processes of caring and copresence across distance.