Privileged Mobilities: Professional Migration, Geo-Social Media, and a New Global Middle Class

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Geo-social media, Global middle class, Global media studies, Media geography, Expats, Globalization, Postnational identities


As corporations ramp up «workforce globalization» and young professionals increasingly pursue opportunities to work abroad, social entrepreneurs use online digital platforms to create offline social events where foreigners can meet face-to-face. Through ethnographic study of such groups in Paris, Singapore, and Bangalore, Erika Polson illustrates how, as a new generation of expatriates uses location technologies to create mobile «places,» a new global middle class is emerging. While there are many differences in the specifics between the expat groups, they share certain characteristics that indicate a larger logic to the way that the increasing mobility of professional career paths is connected to new subjectivities and changing forms of community among a diverse and growing demographic. This book opens up a new field of study, one which pays more attention to middle class mobility while questioning the privileging of mobility more generally.


“In Privileged Mobilities, Erika Polson opens up the subject of the new mobilities. With an ethnographer’s eye for detail and contradiction, she shows us a range of elite worlds far broader than most other books on the subject.” —Saskia Sassen, Author of Expulsions

“This rich and thoughtful book explores the ways that middle-class professionals use online, social, and locative media to find their place, relate to people, and negotiate cultures as they wend their ways through global metropoles. Deconstructing mobilities and their social imaginaries, Erika Polson raises fundamental questions about the nature of connection and prospects for cosmopolitan life in digital societies.” —Gerard Goggin, University of Sydney

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Intersections in Communications and Culture (Book 34)

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