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Facebook and WhatsApp as Elements in Transnational Care Chains for the Trinidadian Diaspora

Sociology Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
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Genealogy 2019, 3(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3020015
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnationalism and Genealogy)
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Abstract

Despite being separated by great geographical distances, the Trinidadian Diaspora community has managed to stay in regular communication with those back “home” using the latest available technologies. Trinidadian migrants living abroad have established multi-directional care chains with family, kin, and friends that have endured for decades. This social connection has evolved from letter writing, telegrams, telephones, emails, and most recently, internet-based social media which includes: Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, Snapchat, Twitter, and Google Hangout. This paper examines how social media, focusing on Facebook and WhatsApp, are tools being used by the Trinidadian Diaspora to provide transnational care-giving to family and friends kin left behind in the “home” country and beyond. The analysis is based on the results of two online Qualtrics surveys, one implemented in 2012 (n = 150) and another in 2015 (n = 100) of Trinidadian Diaspora participants and in-depth interviews with (n = 10) Canadian-Trinidadians. This paper explores how social media have become a virtual transnational bridge that connects the Trinidadian Diaspora across long distances and provides family members with a feeling of psychological well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: transnational; care chains; diaspora; Trinidad; family; immigrants; social media; Facebook; WhatsApp transnational; care chains; diaspora; Trinidad; family; immigrants; social media; Facebook; WhatsApp
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Plaza, D.; Plaza, L. Facebook and WhatsApp as Elements in Transnational Care Chains for the Trinidadian Diaspora. Genealogy 2019, 3, 15.

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