Migrants' information practices and use of social media in Ireland : networks and community

Abstract

Presented at iConference 2011, February 8-11, 2011, Seattle, WA, USAMigrants, having left their home society and community, often depend on electronic modes of communication to maintain contacts with distant friends and relations. Their practices illustrate the affordances provided by social media when face to face communication is not available. This paper describes the information and communication practices of Polish and Filipino nationals in Ireland, based on interviews with over sixty-five migrants in 2009. Migrants display increased dependence on the Internet as an information source and use various electronic media to maintain significant contacts with friends and relations in their home societies. Social media (including Web 2.0) practices have an impact on long distance relations that previous technologies have not had, due to differences in the way these technologies are utilized. Social media usage is a passive monitoring that complements the active communication of first generation technologies; this monitoring creates a background awareness and presence in terms of which active communication takes place, which facilitates bonding as well as bridging capital. This enables resilient and durable transnational links, while also facilitating greater mobility for migrants.Not applicableConference detailshttp://www.ischools.org/iConference11/2011index/Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Science

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This paper was published in Research Repository UCD.

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