Presentation on theme: "Virtual Communities and the Successful Integration of New Immigrants Nevena Mitropolitska INRS-UCS, Montreal."— Presentation transcript:
Virtual Communities and the Successful Integration of New Immigrants Nevena Mitropolitska INRS-UCS, Montreal
Research Objective Explore the impact of the Internet forums on the settlement process of new immigrants Internet forum – a form of online community based on the technological capacity of a software to make public messages, to answer them publicly, to exchange private messages and to communicate in real time privately or in a groupe.
Methodology Case study (www.bgcanada.com)www.bgcanada.com Qualitative research : Semi-structured interviews (face-to-face or online) Content analysis
The interviews 4 target groups of interviewees: Immigration candidates Immigrants Administrators et moderators Control groupe Why immigration candidates?
Social networks according to the geographical extension Local networks Regional networks Global networks Means of communication: In-person encounters Instant messaging E-mail or private messages
Reproduction of the networks Plovdiv Sofia (the older wave of immigration) Sofia (the more recent wave of immigration) Montreal
Strong Ties & Weak Ties Strong ties: between social actors who belong to the same social group (kin, close friends) Weak ties: between social actors who belong to different social groups www.bgcanada.com: Weak ties Strong ties (friendship; settlement assistance; spatial concentration)
Community lost view Vs. community liberated view (Wellman) Community lost Community saved Community liberated The neighbourhood-bound community is no longer seen as the only source of solidarity Problem Neighbourhood Mobilization or creation of assistance networks
Community saved Densely knit network, strong solidarity Community liberated Sparsely-knit networks, unclear limits Community liberated Community saved (spatial concentration; strong ties) www.bgcanada.com: Both types of community can be usefull for the immigrants successful settlement
Possible Policy Implications Interactive communication in the official immigration sites? Is it possible? UK government official site Natural Resources Canada The price to pay (Does the public bureaucracy really need it?) Source of information (not rigorous, but provides prompt feedback)
Possible Policy Implications Observation of the forum could help adapt the information to the current needs of the clients Which groups among immigrants can use the forums? (Possible budget readjustment regarding the new digital divide between immigrants.) Near future or futurism?