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Exploring the role of Information and Communications Technology in the experience of refugees and their service providers in the city of Montréal

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Exploring the role of Information and Communications Technology in the experience of refugees and their service providers in the city of Montréal

Carru, Diane (2019) Exploring the role of Information and Communications Technology in the experience of refugees and their service providers in the city of Montréal. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Since January 2017, the increased number of asylum claims made in Canada has resulted in a significantly backlogged immigration system. In Montréal, refugee claimants awaiting court hearings for months on end often face isolation and exclusion. Research has shown that refugees increasingly rely on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to curb the effects of living in legal, cultural and social limbo. What remains unknown, however, is how service providers (community organizations, social workers, volunteers) perceive ICT and adapt their work to the omnipresence of these tools. Drawing from ethnographic data including ten in-depth interviews conducted with refugees and service providers, this thesis explores the role of ICT in refugee support networks of Montréal. Refugee participants reported using ICT to stay connected with their family abroad while developing a locally-situated network. Similarly, ICT facilitated service providers’ work and increased the engagement of the local community. However, ICT use did not only yield positive outcomes: participants expressed concern about the problematic spread of misinformation online, and about privacy and traceability issues. Results therefore indicate that ICT can be exploited to promote social inclusion in a context of forced displacement, but also exacerbates refugees’ exposure to certain threats.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Carru, Diane
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology
Date:18 June 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Kairouz, Sylvia and French, Martin
ID Code:985687
Deposited By: DIANE CARRU
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 16:36
Last Modified:15 Nov 2019 16:36
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