13 Jan 2011 - 14 Jan 2011 All day CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge




Dr Mirca Madianou (Department of Sociology and Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge)





The conference will address the convergence of two parallel developments: global migration and the flow of symbolic forms and digital interactive media, which are having profound consequences for our transnational world. New developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as the internet and mobile phones combined with a collapse in the cost of international communication are together transforming the experience of migration with implications for family life, sociality and intimacy, identity and political involvement. The conference will assess the impact of digital media on the following crucial aspects of migration: 

The political: representation, visibility, participation;
Migrant socialities;
Culture, identity and belonging;
Family separation and long distance communication; and,
Patterns of migration and policy implications.

Through the series of presentations and panels, the conference will explore the following questions among others: what opportunities do digital media offer in terms of amplifying the visibility and political participation of migrant groups in host societies? Is there any evidence to support the popular assumption that new media isolate migrant populations thus preventing integration, or do ICTs contribute to the orientation of migrants both towards the sending and host society as recent research suggests? Is the internet used to politicise, or radicalise migrant populations in the context of multicultural societies, or is transnational ICT use largely for social and personal purposes? Can ICTs alleviate some of the social costs of migration (such as family separation) for the sending countries? Do the opportunities for synchronous and cheap communication afforded by new media impact on decisions relating to emigration and settlement? Finally, the conference will be an opportunity to reflect on what is qualitatively different about digital technologies compared to older media.

The conference comes at the end of a three-year long ESRC funded study led by Mirca Madianou and Daniel Miller on ‘Migration, ICTs and the transformation of Transnational Family Life’.


Accommodation for non-paper giving participants

Conference participants can find information about accommodation in Cambridge at the following URLs:
NB. CRASSH is not able to help with the booking of accommodation.

Conference sponsors


The conference organisers are grateful for the generous support provided by CRASSH and the Economic and Social Research Council




Administrative assistance: Helga Brandt (Conference Programme Manager, CRASSH)






Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk