Kerstin B. Andersson, PhD, Uppsala University

The digital Diaspora; an overview of the research area

In this presentation I will elaborate on an emerging research area, the “digital Diaspora”, the impact of new media and social media on forms of mobility, migration and diaspora groups. The proliferation of new media, ICT and Web 2.0, has profoundly affected the conditions for migrants. The Internet has for example been described as “a home away from home” and the new “Ellis Island” for migrants. Academic research on “digital Diasporas”, initiated in the end of the 1990s, constitutes a growing field. The research area is understudied and under-theorized, characterized by rapid proliferation of forms of new media and social media and by divers and changing structural conditions of migrants. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the developing research area. I will elaborate on different aspects of the research field, starting with a discussion of the research category and the central themes that have emerged in the research area. Further, I will elaborate on theoretical and conceptual discussions and also, look closer on the very complex area of methodology that characterizes the research area. The presentation is based on a forthcoming article.

Kerstin B. Andersson has a PhD in Social Anthropology from University of Gothenburg. She is currently affiliated to Dept. of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University and has a position at Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR). Kerstin B. Andersson’s thesis focused on elite groups in Kolkata West Bengal, India, and gives a postcolonial approach to changes and transformations in the Bengalian society. Her main research interests cover elite studies, methodological questions in anthropology, media and digital anthropology, new media and social media, and currently with a specific focus on “Digital Diasporas”. Kerstin is currently engaged in a research project on Bengali Hindu groups in Diaspora and the use of new media and social media.

All seminars in the series.