New York talk exchange : transnational telecommunications and migration in a global city
Author(s)Rojas, Francisca M., 1976-
Transnational telecommunications and migration in a global city transnational telecommunications and migration in a global city
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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This dissertation investigates the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in transnational activities. It adds empirical detail to the notion that ICTs are critical facilitators of globalization through a multi method approach, combining analyses of long distance telephone traffic from New York City and interviews of migrants in Upper Manhattan and central Queens. The quantitative approach examines variation of call destinations, volume, and patterns of talk between neighborhoods within a global city. This expands our understanding of New York's global counterparts in transnational processes to include the "space of flows" generated by immigrant areas of the city. Semi-structured interviews uncover how telecommunications support simultaneous social interaction between migrants and those who remain in their country of origin. While theories of the global city, the network society and transnationalism claim a link between advances in telecommunications and the processes of globalization - both in corporate functions and migration - to date we have little empirical knowledge about how telecoms mediate between the city and the world. Findings reveal that New York's immigrant neighborhoods are as engaged in global processes as the great business centers of the city, and according to one measure, they are more so. An important reason for this is the affordability and accessibility of international communications, which allows migrants to bridge the breaks that occur as a result of the migration process. The telephone's capacity to facilitate intimate and simultaneous involvement in daily life opens up the possibility for engaging in transnational practices, such as mothering or circular migration. Because many migrants aspire to return to their country of origin, the telephone is a necessary tool for maintaining social networks and managing resources abroad to safeguard their future. The increased reach, velocity, and intensity of telecommunications is transforming the experience of contemporary migration into something more indeterminate and fluid, producing hybrid lives that straddle here and there - both physically and virtually. As cities like New York grow entirely due to international migration, city planning is challenged to respond to an urban condition that is not neatly characterized by settlement or incorporation, but also contains elements of flux and uncertainty.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2010.Page 203 blank. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-190).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.