Mobile communication and refugees: An analytical review of academic literature.

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Abstract:

Over the past decade, an expanding literature has explored the ways in which refugees rely on mobile communication technologies to stay in touch with a wider community and to access relevant information and services in their new places. Nevertheless, challenges linked to (a lack of) digital literacy and accessibility among refugees, and associated risks of technology use can negatively affect their empowerment and participation in a “mediatized” society. In light of the mutually shaping processes emerging between technology and society, this article provides an overview of studies focusing on the relationship between mobile communication practices and refugee lives under different circumstances. Using the concept of affordances as an analytic tool, this article looks into ways in which existing studies address the possibilities and vulnerabilities of mobile communications, the social conditions, and the agency of refugees in engaging with mobile technologies in the different temporal and spatial dimensions of their migration trajectories. Future studies should explore more collective processes and the power dynamics involved in the appropriation of mobile technologies by different migration actors.

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Citation:

Paz Aléncar, A. (2020). Mobile communication and refugees: An analytical review of academic literature. Sociology Compass.

About This Study:

Intervention(s): None Tested
Intervention Duration: N/A
Relevant ORR Program: EthnicCommunity Self-Help Program, Matching Grant, Preferred Communities, Refugee Career Pathways
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: No evidence about impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Adults
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Multiple Regions

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: