'IF YOU CAN WORK FROM ANYWHERE, WHY WORK ANYWHERE ELSE?': FLEXIBLE CITIZENSHIP, REGIMES OF MOBILITY, AND THE DISCOURSE OF DIGITAL NOMADISM
AbstractDigital nomadism is a term that has entered the cultural lexicon relatively recently to describe a lifestyle unbound from the traditional structures and constraints of office work (Makimoto and Manners, 1997; Cook, 2020; Thompson, 2018). This identity is organized around the digital technologies and infrastructures that make “remote work” possible, allowing digital nomads to claim “location independence” and granting them the freedom to travel while working (Nash et al., 2018). Largely employed as freelancers or as self-styled entrepreneurs, digital nomads assert their independence from the traditional strictures of work through the digital technologies they use at the same time that they remain “plugged in” to the infrastructures, economies, and lifeworlds of Silicon Valley (McElroy, 2019, p. 216). As such, the digital nomad represents a key site to examine privileged transnationalism and the enduring forms of coloniality that inform contemporary “regimes of mobility” (Hayes and Pérez-Gañán, 2017; Glick Schiller and Salazar, 2013, p. 189). This paper considers how discourses of digital nomadism have been constructed, circulated, and leveraged by governments offering “digital nomad visas,” “remote work visas,” or “freelancer visas” to examine how regimes of mobility have been imagined and enacted. Utilizing discourse analysis to examine popular press articles, Instagram posts from the official accounts of tourism boards, and governmental websites, I examine the ways digital nomadism was constructed during the COVID-19 pandemic and consider how this lifestyle has been formalized and institutionalized. I argue that mobility itself has become a central resource through which nations compete for global capital accumulation.
How to Cite
Edwards, S. E. (2021). ’IF YOU CAN WORK FROM ANYWHERE, WHY WORK ANYWHERE ELSE?’: FLEXIBLE CITIZENSHIP, REGIMES OF MOBILITY, AND THE DISCOURSE OF DIGITAL NOMADISM. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.11906