Chapter 3: Environmentally related migration in the digital age: the case of Bangladesh
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Ingrid Boas illustrates how in Bangladesh people respond to extreme levels of climate variability are continuously on the move, sometimes as conscious ex ante strategy, but also responding to emergencies. This chapter interrogates how the social networking of migrants, and through that their migration trajectories, are being shaped by mobile technologies, including how this informs levels of resilience and sustainable development for those involved. I examine this through the case of environmentally-related migration in Bangladesh. This case is about internal movement. Such movement is highly dynamic with people frequently visiting places of origin or even trying to move back, and with travel routes being relatively safe and well known. It is less about smart phones and social media, as many of the most affected only have access to a mobile phone without internet. In that context, this chapter shows that the use of mobile technologies does not necessarily lead to a drastic shift of social network structure towards the proliferation of weak ties that could aid in the inclusive translocal development of migrants and communities affected by environmental changes. Rather, in this case, the impact is on how (often existing) ties that are geographically dispersed are utilized to enable mobility in a more coordinated manner, making mobility decisions more reflected on and in that manner more resilient.

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