By Dr. Kerstin B Andersson, Dept. of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University / Swedish Council of Higher Education

I’m a media anthropologist and Indologist, currently working on the Indian diaspora and communication. During the last couple of years, I have focused my research on the distinct field of migration and the use of new media and social media, a growing academic field. 

The impact and importance of the new technologies for migrants is well established. Appropriation of ICTs and new media environments have become a ubiquitous feature of everyday life in migrant groups. The development of the research field is closely related to the expansion of ICTs and new media. The first studies dealing explicitly with the field of migration and new media appeared in the end of the 1990s. Now, it has become an established academic research field. 

Academic research in the field of migration and the use of new media is interdisciplinary, drawing on approaches from a number of subject areas, such as anthropology, migration studies, media and communication studies, studies in new science, Internet studies, sociology, and cultural studies. The research area is understudied, characterized by rapid changes and shifts, and is shaped by the changing structural conditions of migrants and the proliferation of forms of media. For example, the 2015 European refugee crisis led to a number of studies on the impact of new media on forced migration.

In a recent article, I provide a comprehensive overview of the rapidly expanding academic field of migration and the use of new media. So far, the research field has been characterized by an increasing number of empirical case studies on the use of new media in migrant groups. Through a review of the existing literature in the field, I provide an inclusive narrative synthesis of the academic field. The result is presented in the form of a narrative literature review, where I elaborate on the status of the research field, the primary themes and topics of research interest, the theoretical and conceptual issues under investigation, and the methodological approaches to research in this field. 

Link to the full article:

Kerstin B. Andersson