Transnational Family Communication as a Driver of Technology Adoption

Carmen Gonzalez, Vikki S. Katz


The diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has made transnational communication more affordable and intensive. In this article, we examine how transnational family communication shapes immigrant families’ technology adoption and appropriation. Through interviews with immigrant Latino families about their experiences with computers, mobile devices, and the Internet, transnational family communication emerged as a motivating factor for purchasing and introducing digital technologies into the household. Digital ICTs help parents maintain virtual intimacy with faraway relatives, secure emotional support, and engage in transnational caregiving. For their children, cross-border interactions serve as opportunities to support their parents’ efforts to maintain family continuity. Such motivations facilitate a process of appropriation as families negotiate the affordances of particular devices and platforms.


ICTs, transnationalism, family communication, technology adoption

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