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Digital Migration
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Digital Migration



July 2023 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
“A revelation for digital researchers and a provocation for migration scholars… It introduces an insightful, inspiring, and inviting way of making sense of the messiness without losing hope of changing things.”
- Nishant Shah, Chinese University of Hong Kong

“A must read for everyone who is concerned with questions of human mobility, media and communications and the digital border.”
- Myria Georgiou, LSE

“A much-needed addition to scholarship on mobility, technology, and migration… The book is poised to become a touchstone text.”
- C.L. Quinan University of Melbourne

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

Leurs offers an insightful account of the complex but important relationship between migration and digitisation, drawing out the key parameters of digital migration studies. The rich material and conversations informing the book challenge disciplinary silos and demonstrate why it matters to study migration and digitisation together. This is a relationship that we need to explore in its many dimensions if we are to understand how states, people but also technologies shape crossborder mobility, its imaginings, controls and practices. The book offers precisely that holistic perspective. A must read for everyone who is concerned with questions of human mobility, media and communications and the digital border. 

Myria Georgiou
LSE

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

This book is essential reading for anyone involved with or affected by digital mobility and the use of digital technology, as well as those with an interest in this field.

This book serves as a platform for fostering deeper engagement and dialogue within the realm of digital migration studies. Within these pages, readers will discover valuable insights and perspectives on the complex phenomenon of digital migration, encompassing diverse groups of mobile entities, including refugees, labor migrants, queer communities, and more. The author’s comprehensive analysis sheds light on the experiences and challenges faced by these groups in the digital age.

Yongjian Li
Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
New Media & Society

Offering a rich review of debates and studies conducted, Digital Migration is an essential reading for scholars and students interested in migration and digital technologies, to understand and explore the different facets of this relationship, and to challenge the field for alternative approaches.

Miriana Cascone
Södertörn University, Sweden
European Journal of Cultural Studies

The colossal work of bringing together literature from so many different fields and scholars is commendable and a must read for anyone, from students to seasoned scholars, interested in situating their work within the media-mobility nexus. 

Catherina Wilson
Radboud University Nijmegen
Information, Community and Society

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ISBN: 9781529787115

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