Europe and Its Non-Familiar Faces: A Study of Ghanaian Women Migrants’ Use of New Media for Identity and Belonging in Hamburg and London

  • Abstract:

    Today’s migrants are more likely, compared to their predecessors to maintain ongoing ties to their societies of origin because of efficient communication and transport (Schiller et al.1992, 9). With increasing mediatization, the possibilities for relationships in and through media communication have resulted in complex forms of citizenship (Hepp & Hasebrink 2013, 15). This is a comparative study of Ghanaian women’s use of new media for identity and belonging in Hamburg and London. This research is relevant for the conference as it aims to understand the possibilities offered by new media, which have resulted in connections beyond national frames and identities becoming mobile (Hepp2005, 3). For minorities, cultural connections, and transnational networks, present elements of a complex system of communication that can advance participation and recognition. This is an important area of study when it comes to migrant women who are often marginalized (Georgiou2012, 794). New communication technologies are essential in navigating gendered, diasporic-cosmopolitan identities, and creating sites of belonging in the context of everyday life where many face racism, and exclusion from the broader society. New media open up possibilities of cultivating social networks, which are crucial in sustaining diasporic identity, and community, as well as creating alternative spaces for inclusion. However, little is known about the role of new media such as the internet in the maintenance, expression and advancement of identity especially when it comes to empowerment in marginalised communities (Siddiquee & Kagan 2006, 190). Therefore, questions arise as to how the uses and appropriations of media and communications counter balance socio-political exclusion and marginalization (Georgiou2012, 794).