Communication practices of the Karen in Sheffield: Seeking to navigate their three zones of displacement

GREEN, Geff and LOCKLEY, Eleanor (2012). Communication practices of the Karen in Sheffield: Seeking to navigate their three zones of displacement. Asian Journal of Communication, 22 (6), 566-583.

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This study investigates communication practices of a newly arrived Karen refugee community in the UK who, as well as establishing themselves in a strange country, seek to keep in touch, campaign politically and maintain identity collectively through communication and contact with their global diaspora. We look at the technologies, motivations and inhibiting factors applying to the communication by adult members of this community and construct the idea of three zones of displacement which help to model the particular contexts, challenges and methods of their communication. We find that overall, they are using a wide range of internet-based technologies, with the aim to 'keep-in-touch' (personal contacts) and to 'spread the word' (political communication). This also includes archaic, traditional and hybrid methods to achieve extended communication with contacts in other 'zones'. We also identify the importance of the notion of ‘village’ as metaphor and entity in their conceptualisation of diasporic and local community cohesion. We identify the key inhibitors to their communication as cost, education, literacy and age. Finally, we speculate on the uncertain outcomes of their approach to digital media in achieving their political aims.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number:
Page Range: 566-583
Depositing User: Geff Green
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 16:43
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 04:46

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