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Mediatization, Migration and Home-making: Ontological and Material Dimensions
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for HumanIT. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication. (HumanIT)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8225-3447
Stockholm University. (Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies)
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the study of human and virtual mobility, earlier theories of globalization foregrounded mediated and imagined dimensions such as cultural fusion, flows and cross-border encounters with material aspects (i.e. economic and ecological globalization) often overlooked or underplayed. Over the past ten years, the totalizing logics that underlie globalization and media penetration were sought to be counter-balanced by more context-specific paradigmatic interventions such as transnationalism (Vertovec, 1999; 2009; Khagram and Levitt, 2008) and mediatization (Krotz, 2008; Hepp, 2010) highlighting the meta character of both processes. Technological connectivity, the notion of ‘home’ and everyday attributes and significance of ‘at-homeness’ figured as some of the key issues in studies of transnational migration and migrant experience.

Drawing upon empirical work (2008-present) on migrant communities in Sweden, this paper concerns itself with the ontological and material dimensions of home and home-making in a highly media-saturated (or, mediatized) social and cultural environment. Using mediatization and Bourdieuian sociology as analytical tropes, we construe home and home-making as a dynamic and open-ended spatiotemporal process rather than a static category. As such, this paper raises concern over linear and juxtaposed constructions of ‘home’ and ‘host’ contexts (i.e. home vs. host) and their roles in the migrant life and experience. Home as both an individual and social attribute is constituted in multiple ways within and through social-cultural networks and everyday mediated practice. The materialistic bases of Bourdeauian sociology makes visible the inter and intra-group dynamics and power geometries that characterize spaces and practices of belonging. Consideration of media penetration and current forms of use within the framework of mediatization helps reveal points where continuity and/or change are apparent, further nuancing research on migrant belonging.

Material dimensions and causes such as socioeconomic status and spatial limitations give rise to certain sensations and particular constructions of home. Added to these are intra-group dynamics and individual virtual experiences, which weigh heavily, yielding both unity and tension fields. Alison Blunt and Robyn Dowling (2006:199) emphasize that "lived experiences and spatial imaginaries of transnational migrants revolve around home in a range of ways: through, for example, the relationships between home and homeland, the existence of multiple homes, diverse home-making practices, and the intersections of home, memory, identity and belonging" As our own research also illustrates, a shared homeland does not necessarily prompt shared understandings and feelings of home and at-homeness. These categories are never singular, but always contested with current modes of communication and mediation adding to their complexity. Through ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews with migrants originating from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia, this paper presents a case study of everyday constructions, experiences and broader significance of home and at homemaking in the lives of the study group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sweden, mediatization, transnationalism, material dimensions of home, homemaking
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-28508OAI: diva2:636959
IAMCR 2013: "Crises, ‘Creative Destruction’ and the Global Power and Communication Orders", IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research), Dublin, IRELAND, 25-29 June 2013.
Available from: 2013-07-15 Created: 2013-07-15 Last updated: 2014-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Mehrabov, Ilkin
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