School of Arts and Humanities
This paper reflects on four decades of research (via ethnographic returning) to explore the social transformations in travel and communication technologies that have impacted the lived experiences, and consequently the theoretical conceptualization, of migrant visits. A comparison of migration waves between Italy and Australia reveals both continuities in visiting experience as deeply relational practices that facilitate a mutuality of being, but also transformations brought about by the technological turn. Visits take on different meanings depending on individual/ family life stage, generation, and community and national histories. The capacity for both physical and virtual copresence must be understood as coconstitutive, requiring a temporal perspective. The experiences of immobile migrants in residential care suggest that, in the context of rich histories of copresence over time, digital kinning can provide the capacity to share a mutuality of being that safeguards the socio-relational ties of individual and collective identities and belonging that make us human.
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