Emotion culture/emotion as ‘a social construct’
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From Transcending transnational transaction and material accumulation to negotiating emotional transnationalism amongst the Pinyin and Mankon communities in Cape Town
. . . its not just about the demands, its about the attitude. The more you give, the happier the family is with you, the more responsive they are even of your communication and phone calls. The less withdrawn you are financially, the more withdrawn they are so sometimes you dont even feel like phoning when youre not giving. You know... for me its not just about phoning and getting these amount of complains and demands, for me its about phoning and speaking to people who really show these emotions of joy and excitement that you have phoned, even over the phone because you can sense them. The more distance you are financially, the more some people will be distant even in their communication approaches so it puts me off and I just do not feel like phoning those people.It should be reciprocal especially when you have a child out of the country. . . The only thing you can give go them is when they phone and you speak to them in a manner that they would go away knowing that Ive connected with my family. But when they phone and youre distant in their voice, you give more monosyllable answers to their questions and theres no communication, then it puts one off and it makes you even miserable being that far away.
Emotion culture/emotion as a social constructArlie Hochschild (1979)every society possesses an emotion culture which consist of a complex of ideas about what people are suppose to feel in various types of situation.emotion ideologies about appropriate attitudes, feelings and emotional responses in basic spheres of activitySteven Gordons (1990) emotion as a social construct - emotions influence, and are influenced by, the flow of interaction in social structures regulated by cultural norms, values and beliefs.that culture provides accounts of the origins and nature of different emotions, including their likely causes and outcomes, and it identifies how emotions are expressed and managed.emotions are culturally embedded and regulated by culture than biologically
Towards a culture of emotional mobilityMobiles need emotional energy l (Collins 1990).need and often turn to the various relations for emotional support to insulate them from stress.Difficulty in communication prior to advances in ICTs meant that that emotions were channelled in long hours of studies, work and wealth accumulation, and even longs periods of abstention from calling. Migrants looked forward to weekly market days.
communication was not easy, you need to pass the message through a third party, maybe youre borrowing somebodys phone and then you say can you go and deliver this message, or can you go and be by their side so that when I call I can talk to them so that was one of the factors. And then the second factor was the fact that I did not want to increase my worries . . . I call them just to know how they are doing then and then what? Because I didnt have any money to send to them, psychologically disturbed first of all, am struggling to pay for my tuition, when I call her what will I say . . . she says yeah we are fine but we are poor and then youre not able to solve their problems. I postponed, some time I used to stay for 1 year, because when you call them they will present a situation which will not be very pleasing to you and then it will worry you more and more.
ICTs - virtual umbilical cords that link migrants and family. Shift from communication droughtconvey in part, moral virtue and serve as a conduit to conveying emotional energy.Density of networks forged
Negotiating emotional transnationalism/transculturalism
Communication technology thus annihilate boundaries that separated migrant.Long waiting period of letter writing was reducedAbility to travel back and forthCould also lead to suboptimal exchanges (Turner & Stets, 2005)
Family re-unions and planned visits Rachael looks forward to just hugging her mother and cry with her. I have missed her so much and cant even imagine what she is going through since my father died . . . I also have a lot of things to tell my father when I go, I will have to talk to him on his grave
Photos and memorabilia as co-presenceWhen I was coming to South Africa, I brought along photos of my wife and children. These photos have been quite helpful especially on days that I miss them very much. I take them out and go through them, after which I call them while looking at the photos. It makes me feel as if they are next to me and after that I can sleep calmly
Mediated phone callsClandestine phone calls -You may spend your whole day there and leave without reaching home. But when you are lucky to get through, you leave there a happy man and this steam keeps you going for the next months before you reach home again. You see, but when you leave without calling, your whole week and those after is bad as you are in doubts as to how is the family. This was the case with me at times