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Digital Migration

Digital Migration

June 2023 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In contemporary discussions on migration, digital technology is often seen as a 'smart' disruptive tool. Bringing efficiencies to management, and safety to migrants. But the reality is always more complex.

This book is a comprehensive and impassioned account of the relationship between digital technology and migration. From 'top-down' governmental and corporate shaping of the migrant condition, to the 'bottom-up' of digital practices helping migrants connect, engage and resist.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Digital Migration explores:

  • The power relations of digital infrastructures across migrant recruitment, transportation and communication.
  • Migrant connections and the use of digital devices, platforms and networks.
  • Dominant digital representations of migrants, and how they’re resisted.
  • The affect and emotion of digital migration, from digital intimacy to transnational family life.
  • How histories of pre and early-digital migration help us situate and rethink contemporary research.
  • The realities of researching digital migration, including interviews with leading international researchers

Critical yet hopeful, Koen Leurs opens up the unequal power relations at the heart of digital migration studies, challenging us to imagine more just alternatives.

Koen Leurs is an Associate Professor in Gender, Media and Migration Studies at the Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. 

All author royalties for this book will be donated to the Alarm Phone, a hotline for boatpeople in distress.   

Chapter 1: Infrastructures
Chapter 2: Connections
Chapter 3: Representations
Chapter 4: Affects and emotions
Chapter 5: Histories

This book marks the coming together of the emergent field of Digital Migration studies. Koen Leurs’ expertise and contributions in shaping the field shine through in this milestone book. Through historical research, material practice, critical dialogues, and most important, a persistent politics of care and empathy, he shows how we are all in different states of migration, through territory, technology, and bodies. The book is a revelation for digital researchers and a provocation for migration scholars as it introduces an insightful, inspiring, and inviting way of making sense of the messiness without losing hope of changing things.

Nishant Shah
Professor of Global Media, Chinese University of Hong Kong

A much-needed addition to scholarship on mobility, technology, and migration. By taking an interdisciplinary approach that builds connections between fields often regarded as distinct, it develops a nuanced and multi-perspectival understanding of digital migration studies. The book is poised to become a touchstone text and will not only appeal to scholars conducting specialized research on topics like the digitization of borders and the datafication of movement, but will also be useful for students and researchers needing general background knowledge to a vitally important field. 

C.L. Quinan
University of Melbourne

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ISBN: 9781529706529

ISBN: 9781529706536

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