Introduction Of Sociology Assignment
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In this modern era, digital technologies have played a vital role in nurturing interrelationships between diaspora and their homeland. This essay is going to describe the digital technologies that are hugely used in today's time. Furthermore, critical explanations about diasporic communities and their transnational connections will be discussed in this essay.
This essay aims to highlight the role of digital technologies to help Diasporas to manage their relationship with their homeland.
Explanation on digital technologies
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are becoming essential in shaping human life. According to Boyd and Crawford(2012), digital technologies are the tools, devices, systems or resources that process, store data. Some examples of digital technologies can be social media, mobile phones, and multimedia. As per the opinion of the United Nations (UN), digital technologies have helped to shape the future of the earth and make the world a more peaceful and fairer place to live in. Besides that, to meet the sustainable goals, which include achieving universal literacy, promoting human rights, digitally advanced technologies provide support. However, Baldassar (2016) argued that digital technologies might result in threatening privacy and encouraging inequality. Nevertheless, by enhancing connectivity, digital technologies have helped to promote a transformational society. In this context, the internet and smartphone come in front to lead communication between people living in different countries. Communication and information flow has transformed in the modern world due to the innovation of technologies.
It has been found that 6.37 billion people all over the world use smartphones, which could rise to 7.33 billion by 2025 (Bankmycell, 2021). Besides that, 4.66 billion active internet users have been identified, which is around 59.5% of the total global population. Among this population, 4.48 billion actively use social media for communicating with others (Dean, 2021). Based on the above statistics, it can be assumed that the population, which is transforming their lives, has rapidly adopted the eruption of digital technologies. The growth of social media has helped people to raise their voices and connect with people among families as well as from different countries. For example, it has been found in week 9 that Umut, who travel for work, are connected with her family by using smartphones. It has become an important medium to exchange information between families and friends and connect with them even being at a distance. Nevertheless, Baldassar (2016)argued that the improvement of communication technology has some drawbacks, which include laziness among people, leading to miscommunication. For example, in face-to-face communication, the intention, depth, and outcomes of conversation can be understood by body language, which may not be understood by digital communication.
Explanation on transnational connections and diasporic communities
Transnational connections or Transnationalism refers to the transmission of political, cultural, and economic processes beyond country boundaries. Generally, the transfer of people, ideas, and technologies between nations is considered Transnationalism. According to Monini (2018), this term became famous in the 1990s, and it explains migrant Diasporas, culturally mixed communities and complicated economic relations. Transnationalism may be beneficial in creating diversity in the culture and society of the nation. For example, the area of education, arts, medicine can be enhanced by transnationalism. On the other hand, Wilding (2006) mentioned that transnationalism weakens the power of the host country to control its people and borders. In many cases, it has been found that the tendency of the immigrants is tied with their own countries' social, cultural, and economic aspects, which may decrease their understanding of host communities.
Nevertheless, Baldassar (2016)mentioned that communication technology in transnationalism primarily contributes toward developing relationships of migrants with their families and friends and significantly contributes to the economy and society of both countries. Besides that, migrants work as a vehicle of social and cultural exchange, and they can make a trade network between the destination and origin country. Apart from that, the religious networks over the national boundaries can be understood by transnationalism. For example, to understand Christianity in the 19th century, the Pentecostal religious group travelled in many countries like Europe, North America.
Diasporic Communities refers to the group of people who have been spread outside their traditional homeland, either by migration or by voluntary activity. Examples of such diasporic communities can be the removal of African from slavery, the removal of Jewish from Judiaor refugees of Syrians. There are several features that exist among diasporas which include traumatic dispersion from the homeland, migration from the country of origin to find jobs, an idealised myth about the origin country, return to the homeland etc (Monini, 2018). For example, the diaspora of the Armenians is considered as the traumatic dispersal from their homeland. On the other hand, the Turkish diaspora is based on the search for work. As per the views of Hall(1990), Diasporas can play a significant role in developing the economy of their origin country. For example, they create knowledge, promote business in the destination country, and transfer money to their families in the original country, which helps to improve the economy.
The concept of the diaspora can be used to understand the contemporary migration of people who do not live in their own country but manage their heritage in their destination country. Diasporas are essential for the development of a country. People living outside their homeland has tripled in the last 45 years, and the number increased from 76 million to 250 million (Helvetas, 2018). In many countries, these Diasporas help in contributing toward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It has been found that the total money transfer from the diasporas to their homeland accounted for around $445 billion in 2018 (Helvetas, 2018). Besides that, in many countries, Diasporas have come under the radar of local development. They are seen as the transportation medium of knowledge, ideas, and technologies, which contribute toward the economic and social growth and development of their homeland. There are several challenges for the returnees' Diasporas, which include the challenges they experience to cope with the mainland after spending many years in a foreign land (Hall, 1990). Besides that, it has been found that many of the returnees have trouble in employment for being absent in the origin country for a long time.
The description of the use of digital technologies by diasporic communities to maintain transnational connections
Digital technologies related to communication and information has helped the diasporic communities to stay connected with their mainland even after being distant. Boyd and Crawford(2012) opined that digital connectivity offered by mobile phones helped migrants to connect with their families, send remittances and journey from one country to another. For example, in Block 2, it has been found that Diasporas use email technology to communicate with their families, use the internet for leisure activities, office meetings and even for yoga practices. Besides that, by using social media, they share their political views about their mainland. Nevertheless, they can track all the activities happening in the origin country by being socially connected with several social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Sturge(2019) mentioned that digital technologies had helped the refugees to connect with places and people. It has been found that technology helped the global refugees in accessing information and rights, social inclusion, education and health (Pickett, 2018). For example, refugee camps in Jordan are designed to utilise the creativity and skills of the people for solving any technical problem in the camp.
Communications technologies such as mobile phones, telephones, and social media have connected the people of the diaspora with their families. It has been found that migrant families have to suffer a long-term sense of closeness due to being apart from each other (Wilding, 2006). However, technologies like video calling, text messages, email help in mitigating this distance. Besides that, the introduction of several applications, cloud communication platforms has connected foreign workers with their homeland country. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, social media platforms and the internet played a significant role in connecting the diasporas with their communities. However, Baldassar (2016) argued that technology comes with several disadvantages, such as misuse of information and data shared over digital platforms. The money transfer by the diasporic community can come under threat due to the cyber security issues in digital technologies. Nevertheless, the introduction of ICT promotes communication in a cheaper and easier way, which benefits the diasporic communities in maintaining transnational connections.
This essay has concluded the role of digital technologies in driving transnational connections for the diaspora communities. It has been found that the Diasporas use communication technologies to stay connected with their families and friends. Furthermore, the features of the diasporic communities have been identified in this essay.
Digital technologies used by migrant communities to maintain transnational relations in Oxfam
Oxfam is a British foundation that works for refugees and migrants. The aim of this organisation is to support dignity to the refugees or migrants. When people leave home and are at the most vulnerable position of their lives, the organisation supports them with food, water, shelter, and long-term health well-being. This charity organisation helps the migrated people who come to the country in search of jobs or well being by providing them support to connect with their homeland and maintain transnational relations. As migrated people live away from their families, therefore, technology becomes the only way to mitigate the distance and closelessness with loved ones (Sturge, 2019). In this context, social media has become one of the powerful platforms for migration networks in promoting communication with transnational people. In spite of all the challenges that can be created by social media, migrant workers are hugely accepting of these platforms during their journey to the destination country. Besides, most of the migrants use digital technologies to gather information about the homeland, the economic and social situation of the origin country by the use of the internet and social media channels.
Digital technologies like ICT not only help the refugees to collect information and navigate their destination but also help in being in touch with friends and families. Apart from that, the ICT platforms are adequate to make connections between the displaced people in order to build helping relationships. On the other hand, it can be said that digital technologies can also be used to hinder refugee movements and give them insignificant angles (Monini, 2018). However, ICT helps the migrated families to feel togetherness even after staying in different boundaries. It has been found that the migrated people use social media and the internet at an extensive range rather than mobile voice. Along with that, the use of digital technologies has helped migrants to share their stories with multiple segments of society (Liberty, 2019). As family separation creates mental weakness to most people, therefore being connected by digital technologies has helped in providing mental strength and happiness.
Gibbs’ reflective cycle
On week 6, I was a little confused when my tutor taught about digital data-driven technologies. I get to learn about transnationalism, diasporic communities and the impact of digital technologies on their lives in all weeks 6,8 and 9.
During my classes about the topics, I felt unprofessional in researching relevant information. However, my educator and other students have supported and encouraged me to gain knowledge and develop relevant ideas about the topic.
I found that I lack communication skills while communicating with non-academic audiences and lack in performing my duties efficiently. Besides that, I discovered that my performance skill was low in the first couple of days.
I realised that a student should put the effort in searching from different authentic resources to complete such a topic besides weekly sessions in university.
Analysing all the incidents, I can say that the weekly sessions at University have positively affected my performance and knowledge about digital technologies used by migrants for maintaining relationships with families.
I will work on my communication skills and improve them for making conversations with non-academic audiences within the next 6 months.
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