Easy access: new dynamics in long-distance African intimacies
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Copyright © International African Institute 2018. This article examines how African transnational relationships in the twenty-first century differ from their manifestation in previous periods of mobility and long-distance intimacy. I argue that the possibilities for and expectations of immediate communication and co-presence facilitated by the current technological landscape distinguish this era from earlier ones and fundamentally alter the ways in which African migrants connect to those at home. Although time-space compression allows for the potential of new practices of virtual intimacy, it also creates an imperative of availability for migrants that is reinforced not only on micro- and meso-levels by families and communities but also on macro-levels by neoliberal state policies that target migrants as agents of development and providers of social services.
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