This paper investigates transnational families’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the accompanying sudden and unexpected travel restrictions. Our data consist of written stories collected in April–June 2020 from migrants with ageing kin living in another country. For many respondents, the situation provoked an acutely felt urge for physical proximity with their families. By analysing their experiences of ‘not being there’, we seek to understand what exactly made the urge to ‘be there’ so forceful. Bringing into dialogue literature on transnational families with Jennifer Mason's recent theoretical work on affinities, we move the focus from families’ transnational caregiving practices to the potent connections between family members. We argue that this approach can open important avenues for future research on families—transnational or otherwise—because it sheds light on the multisensory and often ineffable charges between family members that serve to connect them.
|Early online date||25 Jun 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Jun 2022|