9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS10 Socio-Anthropology of Trans-national Migrations and Migrants' Families

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 How Migrants Use New Technologies and Change World Cities Building II, C2.05

Trans national Europeans? The influence of modern technologies on life strategies of Chechen refugees in the EU

Trans national Europeans? The influence of modern technologies on the life strategies of Chechen refugees in the EU. " ... there are voice rooms where you can meet Chechnyans from all over the world. You have people from all different ages and the topics are from current events to religion and then you have your younger crew who listen to Noxchi music, etc. It´s a nice way of learning and touching up on your Noxchi mott and even Russian. It helped me!" (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2246058387, 2007).

The above quotation comes from a Chechen discussion forum on the social networking site Facebook.com. When reading the forum, one can easily discover its relevance to people; due to rapid technological development, Chechens living in Chechnya and abroad, particularly in the European Union exchange important information, share common interests and concerns, all without even seeing each other in the reality. The internet changes people´s lives and the process of their adaptation to host societies. Online discussion boards constitute a unique platform of communication between different groups of migrants. It is particularly visible among refugees as they seek contact with family members and their home countries even more intensively than labour migrants. This is the case for the Chechen refugees who have developed various kinds of transnational communities on the internet.
The questions arose how do refugees adapt to host societies in the transnational world of modern technologies? How are their live strategies influenced by the technologies? What kind of social identity do they share? What is the role of the internet in the process of their common identity formation? In order to answer the questions I have introduced computer assisted content analysis based on Grounded Theory approach. I have analysed the biggest Chechen internet forums, e.g. Amina.com, Chechnyafree.ru. and websites providing information about Chechnya, such as Kavkaz Center. I have also conducted in depth interviews with users of the forums and websites. In presentation I will show my research results. I will explain the influence of the modern technologies on Chechen refugees´life strategies and the process of their common transnational identity formation.