Social networking in a digital and mobile world: the case of environmentally-related migration in Bangladesh

Ingrid Boas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper interrogates how the social networks and the networking of migrants, and through that their migration trajectories, are being shaped by mobile technologies. I examine this through the case of environmentally-related migration in Bangladesh. This case, and the issue of environmentally-related migration more generally, provides new insights as it has a different context to most of the cases thus far examined to study the implications of ICTs on migration. In contrast to those studies, it is about internal movement. Such movement is highly dynamic with people frequently visiting places of origin or even trying to move back, and with travel routes being relatively safe and well known. It is less about smart phones and social media, as many of the most affected only have access to a mobile phone without internet. In that context, this paper shows that the use of mobile technologies does not necessarily lead to a drastic shift of social network structure towards the proliferation of weak ties. Rather, in this case, the impact is on how (often existing) ties that are geographically dispersed are utilised to enable mobility in a more coordinated manner, making mobility decisions more reflected on and to an extent less risky
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1347
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume46
Issue number7
Early online date22 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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