Cheap Calls: The Social Glue of Migrant Transnationalism

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Abstract

Abstract Although globalization has usually been associated with advanced communications technology, arguably nothing has facilitated global linkage more than the boom in ordinary, cheap international telephone calls. Low-cost calls serve as a kind of social glue connecting small-scale social formations across the globe. In this article I present recent data on the rapid growth and diffusion of telephone traffic and describe the proliferation of prepaid phonecards. Second, I outline the commercial, social and geographical ramifications of this explosion in transnational communication.

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