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‘So that she feels a part of my life’: How international students connect to home through digital media technologies

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Abstract

What role do new digital media technologies play in facilitating international student connectedness to their home countries, families, and cultures? In this chapter, I report how digital media and connectedness to home are entangled in increasingly complex ways in the lives of international students today. Using ethnographic approaches that include picture diaries and semi-structured interviews, I collected in-depth accounts from over 20 international students about how media technologies have impacted their well-being, including their connectedness to home. Some of the themes discussed in this chapter include how they recreate and extend home environments through media technologies; how connections with family members and friends back home are maintained through digital media; how they shape identities through the narratives they tell using media; and how sometimes disconnectedness with home is an important factor for personal growth. In particular, I argue that the media ecologies of entertainment and communication technologies surrounding international students form a crucial part of their constitution of ‘home’ and familial relationships, as their sense of place becomes increasingly destabilised by their mobile contexts.

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APA

Wong, J. W. E. (2017). ‘So that she feels a part of my life’: How international students connect to home through digital media technologies. In Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education (Vol. 6, pp. 115–135). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2601-0_7

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