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 ICT Adoption and newly arrived Refugees in Falun, Sweden
Halmstad University. Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS).
2010 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sociologists are concerned with the social implications of technology; new social networks, virtual communities and ways of interaction that have arisen lately. The Internet which is the newest in a series of major information breakthroughs is of interest to sociologists in various ways for example: as a tool for research, for example, in using online questionnaires instead of paper ones, as a discussion platform, a communication tool and as a research topic.

The sociology of the Internet in a formal sense is the study about the analysis of virtual worlds and social changes catalyzed through new media like the Internet. According to DiMaggio et al. (2001), research in sociology of the internet tends to focus on the Internet's implications in the issues of inequality of accessibility of Internet or the issues concerning the digital divide, (the haves and the have not) the adopters versus the non adopters among other issues.

Author and sociologist like Manuel Castells (Castells, 1999, p27) have identified Refugees or new immigrants as a disadvantaged group in the digital society and also various researches including the Swedish Justice department (2002) had identified refugees as a risk group in terms of digital access in Sweden. This means there is a need to bridge the digital divide and promote the use and knowledge of ICT's among the marginalised or segregated groups of people that are found to be at risk, specifically refugees. And one way to bridge the digital divide among these groups will be to Identify the factors that influence their adoption and non adoption of ICT's, because identifying these factors and knowing the problems through the experience of the people affected will generate an opportunity to understand what is required to promote ICT's adoption among these groups.

The results from this study have however shown that although majority of the respondents in this study lack concrete or advance IT skills, both adopter and non adopter have shown huge interest in Internet and share positive experience and perceptions about the Internet. Friends, families and in general the social environment respondents found themselves have played major role in influencing their decision to adopt ICT. The results have also shown that the functions of the internet was a big influence in adopting Internet and this functions displayed by the Internet had contributed to both Integration and facilitation of refugee resettlement in the host nation. Functions such as the use of the internet to communicate and maintain links with home country, use of the internet to access local information concerning host nation where shared by respondents as very valuable function that influence their adoption and continuous usage of the internet. The non adopters attributed largely their lack of IT skills, illiteracy and language as the main obstacles to their adoption of Internet, none of the non adopters perceived the Internet to be negative despite the setbacks in their adoption.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , p. 46
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-5238OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-5238DiVA, id: diva2:331763
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2010-08-09 Created: 2010-07-26 Last updated: 2010-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Halmstad UniversitySchool of Social and Health Sciences (HOS)
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