Connected lives in contemporary mobile societies
|Director||Maya Jariego, Isidro|
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Psicología Social|
|Document type||PhD Thesis|
|Abstract||As individuals continue to move, precipitating one of the largest migrations in history, understanding how they derive their social support, reconfigure their personal networks to stay connected, and attach to the new ...
As individuals continue to move, precipitating one of the largest migrations in history, understanding how they derive their social support, reconfigure their personal networks to stay connected, and attach to the new location is important if we want to gain insight into how lives are connected in contemporary mobile societies. Previous generations of migration were more likely to cut their roots when they moved. Today people move and stay in touch through new communications media. In this context, this study aimed to explore how mobile individuals¿ mobility patterns affect their social support, personal networks and community attachment, as well as the role of new media across these three notions. Specifically, we look at: (1) what kind of social support is derived by mobile individuals, where is it located and how is it sustained; (2) whether the type of mobility differ systematically in personal networks of mobile individuals; (3) and if community attachment is related to the type of social support and personal networks of mobile individuals. Ninety-five mobile individuals who had lived in Seville for a minimum of three months were selected from four distinct communities. The four communities, namely Erasmus students, Japanese Flamenco artists, musicians from the local symphonic orchestra and partners of researchers working at the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, varied in the types of mobility they propelled and were similar in attracting skilled international migration towards Seville. Field data was collected through an electronic multiple name generator, a structured face-to-face interview and a network visualisation tool. These methods enabled us to gather data on the social support network of the respondents, their media usage, community attachment, personal networks, mobility and socio-demographics. Results showed that a significant proportion of social support is kept over a distance. In particular, a great deal of emotional support is derived from distant ties with whom respondents meet yearly. Respondents stayed in touch with these ties mostly through frequent communication with mobile phone and email, and also through SNS in the case of young respondents. Participants relied mostly on specialized support: social companionship by recent friends; emotional and co-presence support from old friends and family; and instrumental support from compatriots. We also found that friends are major sources of support and respondents travel more to meet up with friends than with family. In terms networks, patterns of mobility reflected in the personal networks of our respondents were observed. Respondents who had lived longer in Seville were more likely to have personal networks dominated by the exogroup (locals, alteri living in Seville, friends), just as those who were in Seville for a temporary period, knowing that a displacement to another location (be it country of origin or other) was either imminent or definite, were more linked to the endogroup (alteri living in country of origin, family, compatriots, etc). Temporary mobility was characterised by frequent contact with social ties residing in other locations, replacement of strong ties by a wider variety of weak ties through which company and socialization is derived, and frequent travel to sustain support from distant ties. When it comes to community attachment, respondents appeared to be susceptible to a weak sense of community but this was not reflected in respondents¿ discourse on how they connected to Seville. Respondents characterised by a settlement type of profile were more likely to score a higher sense of community. Despite scoring low on the sense of community index used (McMillan & Chavis, 1986), participants claimed to connect to Seville in a variety of ways, reflecting different notions of community attachment. High listing of Spanish alteri providing multiplex support and the respondents¿ expectation of living in the host location for a long period seemed to be the strongest predictors of a high place attachment in our study.
|Cite||Cachia, R. (2014). Connected lives in contemporary mobile societies. (Tesis Doctoral Inédita). Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla.|