The digital gift and aspirational mobility
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AbstractThis article discusses aspirational mobility and the digital gift in the context of forced migration in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It illustrates how gifting a mobile device and data enhances the aspirational mobility of forced migrants and intervenes into political codes, which promote social and technological isolation. Through the example of fieldwork with forced migrants and social media analysis, the article shows how participation, self-presentation, and social control were encouraged through the object and data gift. The migrants amplified their aspirational mobility by participating in urban life, presenting themselves in digital space, and maintaining romantic sociality with members of other marginalized migrant groups. The article elaborates on previous notions of technology as expanding social worlds for forced migrants while also highlighting the potential of technology for social control between migrant groups. The article also points to the potential dangers of social media use by asylum seekers for refugee status determination.
All Author(s) ListWITTEBORN Saskia
Journal nameInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume Number22
Issue Number6
Pages754 - 769
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsAsia, aspirational mobility, asylum seeker, data, digital gift, domestic worker, forced migrant, mobile phone, refugee, social media

Last updated on 2022-14-01 at 01:15