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The politics of transnational affective capital: digital connectivity among young Somalis stranded in Ethiopia

Leurs, Koen (2014) The politics of transnational affective capital: digital connectivity among young Somalis stranded in Ethiopia. Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, 5 (1). pp. 87-104. ISSN 2040-4344

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Identification Number: 10.1386/cjmc.5.1.87_1


This article presents an explorative qualitative case study of how sixteen young Somali migrants stranded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia feel about staying in touch with loved ones abroad using Internet-based transnational communication. Left-behind during transit migration from Somalia to overseas, at this moment they can only digitally connect with contacts living inside for example dreamed diasporic locations in Europe. Based on in-depth interviews, a focus group and concept maps drawn by informants the ambivalent workings of affects spurred by transnational communication are explored. The intense feelings of togetherness originating in Skype video-chat, mobile phone calls and Facebook use are conceptualized with the notion of transnational affective capital – one of the only sources of capital the informants have. The ambivalence of transnational affective capital is scrutinized by exploring whether such connectivity routines offer trust, enable anxiety management and promote ‘ontological security’. Alternatively, the question arises whether transnational communication may further exacerbate ontological insecurity: discomfort, unsettlement and increased anxiety related to the precarious situation of being stranded.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Intellect
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2015 13:20
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 02:01

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