Home on the move: Negotiating differential domesticity in family life at a distance

Earvin Charles Cabalquinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the ways in which 21 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Melbourne, Australia, and their left-behind family members in the Philippines use mobile media to restage, experience and negotiate home. Based on deploying in-depth interviews and visual methods, the findings show the reconstruction of a sense of dwelling through mobile devices. This transformation is shaped by the performance of ritualistic practices, gender roles and socioeconomic conditions. The study also uncovers how mediated mobilities are undermined by social structures and uneven technological infrastructures, paving the way for unstable, exclusionary and ambivalent experiences. Hence, members of the transnational Filipino family often negotiate such challenges by deploying various tactics to ensure that ties are maintained. By unravelling the differential and constrained mobile practices of the transnational Filipino family in forging a sense of at-homeness, the article attends to a critical conception of domesticity in the age of smartphones and mobile phone applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-816
Number of pages22
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • co-presence
  • differential domesticity
  • family rituals
  • homemaking
  • Skype
  • transnational families
  • Viber

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