Feeling close from afar: The digital repertoires of ageing migrants during the pandemic

Presenter: Dr Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto, Deakin University

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About the presentation

This provocation critically unpacks the ways multiple digital communication technologies and online platforms shaped how elderly people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds navigated a series of lockdowns in Victoria, Australia. Based on a data set collected through remote interviewing among 15 elderly CALD people in 2020 and several follow-up interviews in 2021, the study determines and analyses the digital repertoires of ageing CALD people. Extending the relational dimension of mobility and immobility (Salazar, 2021) in a digital realm, the study highlights the enactment of digitalised familial and social connections on a local and transnational context. However, the lack of digital access, competencies, and assistance from support networks placed some ageing migrants in frustrating and marginalising conditions while adhering to stay-at-home orders. In sum, this presentation underscores the insights generated on investigating the digital repertoires of ageing migrants during the pandemic, and how a critical understanding of intertwined mediated mobilities and immobilities facilitates entry points for interrogating and addressing digital divide in an increasingly networked world. 

About the presenter

Dr Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto is a Lecturer in Communication (Digital Media) at Deakin University. He is a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. He is an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. His research works are situated within the intersecting fields of digital media, mobilities, and migration research. He has published extensively in top-tier international journal publications and edited book collections. He is the author of “(Im)mobile homes: Family life at a distance in the age of mobile media”, published as part of the Studies in Mobile Communication Series of Oxford University Press. He sits in the editorial board of the International Journal of Cultural Studies. He is also the Social Media Editor of the Asian Journal of Communication. To know more about his works, access www.ecabalquinto.com

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