Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Reece Jones and Jennifer L. Fluri
Chapter 26: Social media and Rwandan migration: a moral epistemology of return
This study examines how social media data may be used to study ‘connected migration’, and how migration research may benefit from relying on digital data for social and political inference. It explores the Rwandan diaspora’s engagement on Facebook, by questioning the potential of social media to either give voice to or silence (parts of) the diasporic community. The study is based on a cross-disciplinary approach, drawing on debates in media and migration studies. Through an online network and content analysis, the authors illustrate how the Rwandan process of voluntary repatriation and return has arguably (re)constituted refugees residing in the diaspora both as citizens and members of the nation, and ‘agents of change’. It is argued that the nation-building narrative of unity and reconciliation, afforded by social media and driven by the Government of Rwanda as well as its diaspora, puts on display a particular depoliticization of repatriation and an absence of the critical voice. Resulting from the theoretical and empirical findings, the authors develop a normative approach called a ‘moral epistemology of return’, which seeks to specify how displacement is conceived, politicized and mediated with social media. It pertains to how knowledge about the opportunities and consequences of repatriation towards one’s homeland are constructed and communicated on a well-known social media platform.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.