“Long-Distance Parenting”: A Media Ecological Study on Values Communication Between Migrant Parents and Their Children in Paete, Laguna
Fundamental changes in communication technologies have rendered unprecedented transformation in various realms of human experience, including interpersonal relationships. Such changes at the micro level determine patterns of social transformations that shape experiences and discourses on human development at the societal level. This study delved into the dynamic interactions of communication technologies and communication practices of migrant parents and their left-behind children in the Philippines as they struggle to keep their families intact in the face of socio-economic and cultural realities of international migration. Specifically, the study sought to describe and interrogate how the communication of values, from the perspective of left-behind children, is shaped by the choice and use of various communication media in a transnational family setting.
Theoretical sampling was applied in choosing the participants for this case study. Research methods such as in-depth interviews and local storytelling techniques in the Philippines such as pagpapakuwento and pakikipagkwentuhan were employed in gathering the stories from the left-behind children.
Research findings revealed that migrant parents’ and their children’s choice of communication medium is heavily dependent upon the (1) family’s socio-economic status; (2) location of the migrant parent; (3) availability of the communication media; and (4) features of the communication media. With these considerations, migrant parents and their children mostly communicate via telephone, mobile phone, and video calls.
The thematic analysis of stories also revealed that there are three values highly emphasized by migrant parents in communicating with their children. These are (1) love for the family; (2) value for education; and (3) love for the self. The importance of education is very evident.
The quality of values communication between migrant parents and their children relied on their choice of medium. Telephone and mobile calls enable the presence of emotions and voice. Video calls enable real-time surveillance, and allow for the presence of voice and facial expressions.
The study calls for government institutions to craft policies for a more accessible mode of communication among migrant parents and their children. Furthermore, the study seeks to introduce communication within the family as an important aspect of development communication.
KeywordsMigration Communication within the family Children of migrants Information and communication technology (ICTs) Media Media ecology Social change
- Aguila, A. P. N. (2011). Living long-distance relationships through computer-mediated communication. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from http://journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/socialsciencediliman/article/view/2045/1955
- Alesina, A. & Giuliano, P. (2007). The Power of the family. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/behmacro/2007-11/alesina.pdf
- Asis, M. M. B. (2000). Migration and families in Asia, in the Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 9(3). Scalabrini Migration Center.Google Scholar
- Balarabe Kura, S. Y. (2012). Thematic analysis: A critical review of its process and evaluation. WEI International European Academic Conference Proceedings, 8–12. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.westeastinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/ZG12-191-Mohammed-Ibrahim-Alhojailan-Full-Paper.pdf
- Camacho, A. Z. V. (2006). Children and migration: Understanding the migration experiences of child domestic workers in the Philippines. Retrieved October 17, 2014, from http://www.childmigration.net/files/Camacho.pdf
- Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practice guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Cortes, P. (2011). The feminization of international migration and its effects on the children of migrants: Evidence from the Philippines. Retrieved November 24, 2014, from http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-J/SemF2011/Paper2.pdf
- Fidel, R. (1984). The case study method: A case study. Library & Information Science Research, 6, 273–288.Google Scholar
- Fleischer, C. (2002). Child protection: relationship between high risk infants and domestic violence. The Way Forward. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/documents/dv_paper.pdf
- Gadamer, H. G. (2004). Truth and Method. Second edition. London: Sheed and Ward Stagbooks.Google Scholar
- Hamel, J. Y. (2009). Information and communication technologies and migration. United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports Research Paper. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdrp_2009_39.pdf
- International Organization for Migration. (2013). Country migration report: The Philippines 2013. International Organization for Migration: Makati City, Philippines.Google Scholar
- Jimeno, J. (2008). How not to carve a future. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from http://pcij.org/stories/how-not-to-carve-a-future/
- Jocano, F. L. (1998). Filipino Social Organization: Traditional Kinship and Family Organization. Manila: Punlad Research House.Google Scholar
- Johansson, R. (2003). Case study methodology. Royal Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
- Madianou, M. & Miller, D. (2012). Migration and new media. USA & Canada: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mangahas, M. (2004). SWS third quarter survey report. Retrieved August 5, 2014, from http://www.sws.org.ph/pr140904.htm.
- McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding media: The extensions of man. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- Parreñas, R. (2006). Children of global migration: Transnational families and gendered woes. Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press.Google Scholar
- Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. (2008). Stock estimate of overseas Filipinos. Retrieved Dec 2, 2014, from http://www.poea.gov.ph/html/statistics.html.
- Pingol, A. T. (2001). Remaking masculinities, power and gender dynamics in families with migrant wives and house husbands. Quezon City: University Center for Women Studies.Google Scholar
- Value [Def. 2]. (n.d.). In Merriam Webster Online, Retrieved January 1, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/value