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Über dieses Buch

This book examines how African, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American diasporas use media to communicate among themselves and to integrate into European countries. Whereas migrant communities continue employing print and broadcasting technologies, the rapidly growing applications of Internet platforms like social media have substantially enriched their interactions. These communication practices provide valuable insights into how diasporas define themselves. The anthology investigates varied uses of media by Ecuadorian, Congolese, Moroccan, Nepalese, Portugal, Somali, Syrian and Turkish communities residing in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. These studies are based on research methodologies including big data analysis, content analysis, focus groups, interviews, surveys and visual framing, and they make a strong contribution to the emerging theory of diasporic media.



Chapter 1. Migration, Diaspora and Communication

Migrants to Europe find themselves in a continent that is undergoing considerable shifts in its political and cultural character. The dominant tendency of Europeans is to view their countries as constituted by sedentary indigenous populations. An informed understanding of history reveals that both Europe and European states are cultural constructions that have shifted over time and continue to change. The arrival of migrants is not an anomaly but an ongoing unfolding of the historical patterns of the movements of people across the world. European ventures in other continents during the colonial period and in the present have a lot to do with the contemporary arrival of formerly colonized peoples in Europe. These are the contexts of the contemporary media discourses of migrants in which they are negotiating their identities both as European and as African, Asian or American.
Karim H. Karim

Chapter 2. Young Connected Migrants: Remaking Europe from Below Through Encapsulation and Cosmopolitanisation

The figure of the young, digitally connected migrant embodies Europe’s Janus-faced character in an age when the market and technologies are celebrated for increasing speed and mobility within the EU internal market. The use of digital media by young migrants shows how they re-imagine Europe from below, as they stake out a living across nations and continents. Instead of seeing Europe as a homogeneous and stable container, Europe needs to be re-considered ‘as a fragmented and multi-sited societal context, which is co-produced by current patterns of mobility’ of migrants who negotiate new inequalities and hierarchies (Amelina and Vasilache 2014). A focus on how Europe is co-constituted through digital practices of migrants is timely because ‘little is known about the impact of new communication technologies on the lives of migrants in Europe or wanting to reach Europe’ (Ponzanesi and Leurs 2014). Furthermore, migrant youth seeking to find their place in Europe have to negotiate public suspicions resulting from recent claims about the failure of multiculturalism, anti-immigration sentiments, Islamophobia, fears over rape by refugees, and urban unrest and riots that are sweeping across Europe. This chapter unravels how digital practices allow migrant youth to stake out their positionalities vis-à-vis these discourses, both by turning towards members of their own communities living overseas (encapsulation) and by engaging in intercultural dialogue across cultural differences (cosmopolitanisation) (Christensen and Jansson 2014).
Koen Leurs

Chapter 3. Media Use by Syrians in Sweden: Media Consumption, Identity, and Integration

There are an estimated 18 million people living in the Syrian diaspora (Syrian Arab Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates 2014). In 2015, Sweden accepted the most Syrian asylum seekers per capita of any European Union Member State (Tanner, Overwhelmed by refugee flows, Scandinavia tempers its warm welcome. Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from http://​www.​migrationpolicy.​org/​article/​overwhelmed-refugee-flows-scandinavia-tempers-its-warm-welcome, 2016, February 10). Through interviews conducted with Syrian immigrants in Stockholm, Sweden, this research examines how members of the Syrian diaspora consume various channels to follow the ongoing conflict in their home country, how these media affect the respondents’ understanding of both Syria and Sweden, and how these media channels are used in the process of acculturation and integration into the Swedish community. Questions regarding if, and how, members of the Syrian diaspora are communicating with countrymen left behind, how they are keeping up-to-date with developments of the conflict, and where they are able to find the most reliable information are also explored.
Michelle Timmermans

Chapter 4. Social Media Use in the Diaspora: The Case of Syrians in Italy

This study empirically examines how the Syrian community in Italy engages with its homeland and receiving country on social media. The work involves the analysis of over 17,000 comments and 894 photos posted on a particular Facebook page. It offers a unique insight into how some members of the Syrian community living in Italy produce online materials posted on social media and represents one of the first studies that empirically examines images and related texts posted on social media by an online diasporic group.
Ahmed Al-Rawi, Shahira Fahmy

Chapter 5. Social Media Responses of the Turkish Diaspora to Protests in Turkey: The Impact of Gezi on Attitude and Behavioural Change

The Gezi protests in Turkey in May 2013 involved the European diaspora as well as the Turkish population in Turkey. Ethnic minorities whose roots were in Turkey may have felt torn between their country of residence and the nation where they or members of their family were born as they passively or actively participated in those events. Through an online and offline survey, we focused on activities of Turkish and Kurdish ethnic minorities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and their attitudes and behaviours related to the demonstrations taking place in the country of their ethnic origins. A survey of 967 respondents who either actively or passively supported the Gezi movement or opposed it altogether was conducted to determine the nature of diaspora involvement in the demonstrations. We investigated the use of social media to communicate with others about the demonstrations; the relationship between the diaspora and friends and family in Turkey; the attitudes towards Turkey as well as the respondents’ country of residence, and their thoughts about the possible accession of Turkey to Europe in the wake of Gezi.
Roya Imani Giglou, Leen d’Haenens, Christine Ogan

Chapter 6. Transnational Family Communication During an Economic Crisis: Personal Media Repertoires of Moroccans and Ecuadorians in Spain

This chapter focuses on the intersections of personal media and family diasporas in Southern Europe by analysing how particular diasporic subjects refer to the emotional and economic implications of their management of transnational family communication (TFC). The qualitative study is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 Ecuadorian and Moroccan adults living in Spain during the economic crisis that started in 2007 and whose harmful effects continue to unfold. The analysis is theoretically framed by globalization studies and media and migration studies, drawing on four dimensions: extensity, intensity, velocity, and impact of migrant interconnection. The metaphor of ‘juggling’ proved useful to capture conceptually the multiplicity of elements, feelings, and processes migrants deal with simultaneously when they engage in TFC in times of economic and social instability.
Cecilia Gordano Peile

Chapter 7. Media and the Receiving Country’s Language: The Integration of Nepalese Immigrants in Portugal

This chapter focuses on Nepalese immigrant community living in Portugal and on how immigrants use different media—from receiving country, homeland and global sources—to preserve the links with the home country in the process of integration into the new society. The study also analyses how the mainstream media of the country of settlement are used to learn its language (Portuguese). Theoretically, the research is based on the model of uses and gratifications of media (Katz and Blumler, The uses of mass communications: Current perspectives on gratification research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1974), on Berry’s model of acculturation strategies (Berry, J Soc Issues, 57(3):615–631, 2001) and on Bourdieu’s theory of power and practice (Bourdieu, In J. Thompson (Ed.), Language & symbolic power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), specifically in what concerns language as symbolic power. The methodology relied on 17 questionnaires and 8 in-depth interviews. The results of the study show the importance that media have at different periods of immigrants’ lives, depending on the level of integration into the receiving society. In forming a new identity where values and customs of different cultures mix together, in adjusting to a new place of living and in maintaining connections to familial and cultural past, immigrants find in media tools the help to overcome some of the key barriers inherent to the migration process, in particular, the learning of the new country’s language.
Inês Branco

Chapter 8. Participative Web 2.0 and Second Generation Congolese Youth in Brussels: Social Network Sites, Self-Expression, and Cultural Identity

Several existing studies on the media consumption of diaspora highlight that the Internet provides diasporas with new spaces for communication, and a new context for thinking of identity and community. Despite the increasing academic interest in the digital diaspora phenomenon, the rapid technological changes such as the introduction of social media, mobile Internet, and participative web 2.0 constitute a fairly new dimension in the study of migration and diasporic communities. This chapter explores the use of social network sites (SNS) by the second generation of the Congolese diaspora in Brussels, especially when it comes to cultural identity and self-expression. Using ethnographic techniques, the study seeks to identify how members of the Congolese youth could reflect upon their cultural identities on SNS. The study finds that SNS are used as entertainment tools (where various cultural elements are presented with humour) and/or as empowering tools (where claims of Congolese identity, cultural change, and self-awareness are expressed). The results of the study indicated that the interaction on SNS helps the Congolese youth in their cultural identification process and feeling of belonging.
Madly Simba Boumba


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