The refugee crisis has spurred the rapid development of creative technology and social media applications to tackle the problem of refugee integration in Europe. In this article, a qualitative study with 18 refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan is presented in order to investigate the uses and purposes of social media associated to the different areas of refugee integration in the Netherlands. The results indicate that social media networking sites were particularly relevant for refugee participants to acquire language and cultural competences, as well as to build both bonding and bridging social capital. Another important finding concerns the role of government, host society and the agency of refugee actors in determining the way refugees experience social media. Building on these results, a theoretical model for analyzing refugee integration through social media is demonstrated.

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Information, Communication and Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Paz Aléncar, A. (2017). Refugee integration and social media: a local and experiential perspective. Information, Communication and Society, 1–16. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2017.1340500