Digital Empowerment of Asylum Seekers in Turkey and Refugees in Switzerland to Cope With (Im)Mobility Conditions
Project responsable Mihaela Nedelcu
Abstract In the field of digital migration studies, existing scholarship points to the ambivalence of the multi-faceted impact of ICTs on migration processes, stressing that the digitalization offers new agency tools for migrants, while generating new structural constraints to their actions and (im)mobilities. This project questions the digital empowerment of precarious migrants by unpacking ICTs-mediated practices of asylum seekers and refugees from a migration-mobility nexus perspective. It will answer the overall research question of: How are asylum seekers and refugees using digital technologies to cope with (im)mobility conditions, daily life, and crisis situations? Thus, it uses the focus on the ICTs as a way to put an analytical “zoom” on the complex relationships between mobility and immobility within migration trajectories.

By adopting a comparative and qualitative approach, this study focuses on the cases of asylum seekers and refugees from sub-Saharan countries in a transit country (Turkey) and in a destination country (Switzerland). Considering ICTs at three different levels (as research object, fieldwork and tools), we will collect data by combining (n)ethnography (fieldwork observations conducted at the same time in different geographical and digital environments), semi-structured interviews and focus groups. This combination of virtual methods with more traditional qualitative research tools will allow us to triangulate collected data and produce more robust outcomes and analyses.
Keywords refugees, digital practices, transnational migration, Turkex, Switzerland
Type of project Fundamental research project
Research area Sociology
Method of financing SNF - nccr-on the move
Status Ongoing
Start of project 1-6-2020
End of project 31-5-2022
Overall budget 199'985 CHF
Contact Mihaela Nedelcu