ITS Workshop: “Learning technology systems in everyday life: women’s experiences navigating refugee resettlement”
Learning technology systems in everyday life: Women’s experiences navigating refugee resettlement
Friday, April 8th, 2022, 12:00-1:00 pm EST
Presenter: Dr. Negin Dahya, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Faculty of Information
Technology access and education is important for refugees arriving to the United States, where technology is integrated in work and leisure. Learning to navigate systems of employment, transportation, schooling, legal and government services, as well as to stay connected to their friends and families abroad, is critical for refugee women’s social inclusion in new countries. There are few studies exploring the socio-technical worlds of refugee women in resettlement. This research presents findings from nine focus group discussions (n=23) with refugee women in Washington state. Additionally, the data set includes interviews with refugee service providers (n=26) working closely with women arriving as refugees to Washington. Adopting a feminist socio-technical approach and drawing on transformative research design practices, the study focuses on women’s lived experiences of technology in resettlement. Distinctly, this research has engaged participants in discussions about expanded notions of technology, including household appliances, transportation technology, and financial services like ATMs, in addition to digital technologies like mobile phones and online media. From these research findings, we construct a picture of women’s lives using the framework of socio-technical ecosystems. We address how women learn technology and learn to navigate three socio-technical ecosystems in everyday life, defined as 1) home and community, 2) public daily life, and 3) the resettlement process. We present implications for understanding women’s technology access and education and what types of programmatic opportunities might exist for service providers.
This event is part of the International & Transcultural Studies Workshop series, and is co-Sponsored by the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia.
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