New Publication: ERC Team Article (Now Available, Open Access)

Diaspora and mapping methodologies: tracing transnational digital connections with ‘mattering maps’

Donya Alinejad, Laura Candidatu, Melis Mevsimler, Claudia Minchilli, Sandra Ponzanesi and Fernando N. van der Vlist

First published: 23 May 2018


There is a methodological tendency in work on diaspora and digital media for quantitative investigations to approach diaspora in static ways that contrast with theories of diaspora as a dynamic cultural formation. On the other hand, qualitative, ethnographic work tends not to engage with digital methods and quantitative data‐driven investigation. In this article, we sketch this methodological and disciplinary disconnect and address it by proposing a model for understanding digitally mediated formations of diaspora that combines digital methods techniques with a sensitivity to ethical and theoretical discussions of migration and diaspora. Drawing on interpretive epistemologies and feminist research ethics, we present a case study analysis of a locally informed, Turkish–Dutch issue. We argue for a method that produces ‘mattering maps’. This involves tracking and visualizing digital traces of an issue across web platforms (Google Search results, Facebook pages, and Instagram posts) and integrating this with an analysis of the face‐to‐face interview responses of a key issue actor.

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