Early migration scholarship on the transnational family has tended to portray stay-behind children as passive recipients of care and helpless victims of transnational migration. Despite the increasing sophistication of the literature highlighting children's active roles, empirical studies on transnational families focusing on understanding children's changing agency through time are still limited. We aim to fill this lacuna by offering a longitudinal perspective on children's changing agency in using communication technologies. Focusing on the “transition to adulthood” experiences of Filipino and Indonesian stay-behind children (from 9–11 years old to 17–19 years old), we examine how their agentic behavior and practices change in using information and communication technologies to negotiate power and autonomy within the transnational family. We show how the changes in the children's specific life course and the shifting digital divide that accompany these transitions shape the possibilities and limits to children's empowerment and agency in enacting family transnationally.
Kristel Acedera is a Research Associate of the Asian Migration Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Email: email@example.com ORCID: 0000-0002-4207-1179
Bittiandra Chand Somaiah is Lecturer at Yale-NUS College and NUS College, National University of Singapore (NUS). She is an Associate of the Asian Migration Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, NUS. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ORCID: 0000-0001-6771-0566
Brenda S.A. Yeoh is Raffles Professor of Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Research Leader of the Asian Migration Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, NUS. Email: email@example.com ORCID: 0000-0002-0240-3175