Emotional streaming and transconnectivity: Skype and emotion practices in transnational families in Ireland

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Abstract
In this article I explore how transnational families, living in Ireland, use Skype to stay in touch with their loved ones. From 2010 to 2012, data were collected from a purposive, but broad sample of 36 qualitative ethnographic interviews with mixed couples (one partner identifies as Irish and one does not), throughout various parts of the Republic of Ireland. I outline how the use of Skype allows transnational families to create spaces of transconnectivity as they practise simultaneous and ongoing belonging across significant temporal and geographic distances. This affects how people ‘do’ emotions. These emotion practices often consist not only of ‘affect storage’ but also of what I call emotional streaming, promoting ongoing interaction over distance, which includes keeping Skype turned on for long periods of time. Through these attempts to try to recreate everyday practices via continuous use of Skype, transnational emotions of love and longing are deintensified.

 

Abstract

In this article I explore how transnational families, living in Ireland, use Skype to stay in touch with their loved ones. From 2010 to 2012, data were collected from a purposive, but broad sample of 36 qualitative ethnographic interviews with mixed couples (one partner identifies as Irish and one does not), throughout various parts of the Republic of Ireland. I outline how the use of Skype allows transnational families to create spaces of transconnectivity as they practise simultaneous and ongoing belonging across significant temporal and geographic distances. This affects how people ‘do’ emotions. These emotion practices often consist not only of ‘affect storage’ but also of what I call emotional streaming, promoting ongoing interaction over distance, which includes keeping Skype turned on for long periods of time. Through these attempts to try to recreate everyday practices via continuous use of Skype, transnational emotions of love and longing are deintensified.

Source: Global Networks, article first published online: 10 Dec 2014

Author(s):Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
Publisher:Wiley Online
Publication Date:10 Dec 2014
Geographic Focus:null
URL:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/glob.12072/abstract
ISBN:null
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