The role of mobile phones in the mediation of border crossings: A study of Haiti and the Dominican Republic

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Abstract

This article draws upon recent work among Haitian migrants living at the Haitian-Dominican border in order to examine the role of mobile phones in cross-border movement in the region. Like other migrants and displaced populations, Haitians use technologies such as mobile phones to keep in touch with their families and maintain social relations as well as organising economic activities and the circulation of remittances. Yet the dependence of Haitian workers on geographic mobility for work and livelihood also requires developing and maintaining relationships across borders. The focus upon understanding relationships formed within and beyond the southern border region of Haiti and the Dominican Republic seeks to make ethnographically visible the role of the mobile phone in mediating different forms of mobility.

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