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Accepted Paper:

Keeping in touch: recovering kinship ties online  
Giovanna Bacchiddu (Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile)

Paper short abstract:

A group of Chilean born individuals adopted by Sardinian families and their social media interactions with each other and with their Chilean biological families

Paper long abstract:

When Chilean born individuals adopted by Sardinian families 35-40 years ago formed a Facebook and a Whatsapp group, they did it with the purpose of keeping in touch and discussing about their origins and their contested identity. Now that several of them are locating their biological relatives in Chile, they use the social media to communicate with them and to share their emotional experiences with the rest of the adoptees via social media. This paper analyses trends of communication between adoptees, and between adoptees and their biological families through the use of social media and shows how such media allow for a pan-emotional experience for all those involved. The communication through social media, through its immediacy, permits a recovery of lost memories for those that were adopted at around 10 years of age, allowing visual experiences to reactivate the past, and cope with it through a different perception. The visualisation of one's recently found biological relatives through video calls produces surprising and unexpected developments to the adoptees biographies and emotional lives. These are regularly (and sometimes, instantaneously) shared with fellow adoptees through social media, allowing for a 'butterfly effect' and chain reactions towards the idea of recovering lost kinship ties.

Panel P059
Kinship: taking stock in the light of social media
  Session 1