Environmental change and human mobility in the digital age

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Abstract

This intervention argues for the need of research to examine how information and communication technologies (ICTs) shape human mobility in the context of environmental change. ICTs are becoming increasingly central in the daily lives of migrants and communities at risk of environmental events. There is a lack of research, however, exploring how access to and the use of ICTs influences practices and dynamics of human mobility in the face of environmental change. I will outline this research gap and highlight areas for further research. I will do so by bringing together literature from human geography and environmental studies on migration and social resilience, and from sociology on the influence of our mobile and network society. In conceptualizing the role that ICTs play, I argue that the use of ICTs shapes human mobility through its impact on social network activities and relations. In this manner, this intervention builds on a growing body of research conceptualizing social networks – and related dynamics of power, access, in/exclusion – as shaping migration trajectories and abilities to cope with environmental events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
JournalGeoforum
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Environmental change
  • Human mobility
  • ICT
  • Information
  • Migration
  • Social networks

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