Refugee Integration and Social Media: A Local and Experiential Perspective

Dr. Amanda Alencar, Department of Media & Communication, Erasmus University

The refugee crisis has spurred the rapid development of creative technology and social media applications to tackle the problem of refugee integration in many European countries. In this article, a qualitative study with 18 refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan is presented in order to investigate the uses and purposes of social media associated to the different areas of refugee integration in the Netherlands. The results indicate that social media networking sites were particularly relevant for refugee participants to acquire language and cultural competences, as well as to build both bonding and bridging social capital. Another important finding concerns the role of government, host society and the agency of refugee actors in determining the way refugees experience with social media. Building on these results, a theoretical model for analyzing refugee integration through social media is demonstrated.

About the speaker

Amanda P. Alencar is a Lecturer and Researcher in the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus University. Before joining the Department in September 2015, she was a Marie Curie Post-doctoral Fellow at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her Marie Curie research project entitled ‘TV News for Promoting Interculturalism: A Novel Step towards Immigrant Integration' addressed the variables involved in the mediation of migrant integration and experiences by media in a cross-country comparative perspective. Amanda has a PhD in Audiovisual Communication and Journalism from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and an MA in Communication also at USC. She has co-authored international journal articles and book chapters on issues such as intercultural media production in Europe and South America, International comparative research, cultural diversity, immigrant integration, media uses and effects (e.g., Communication Research, Journalism, European Journal of Communication).

Venue: Conference room 0.16/0.17

Date: 18 January 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CET