Researching Migrants and Diasporas Online through the Nigerian Case: The Example of Triangulation
This work explores best ways of examining the connection of Nigerian migrants with origin online. It seeks to understand whether the migrants are able to communicate with Nigeria and if so, under what circumstances and in which ways. The premise of the study is on prevailing perceptions that the Internet is a ground-breaking medium in communication and principally in international communication. Therefore, the project studies the possibilities of communicating with Nigeria and the implications of this, if possible. In addition, if not, the reasons responsible are to be explained. The chances of communicating and its meanings shall be examined at four main levels as follows:
- To what extent are the migrants able to use the Internet in communicating with country of origin? Is the Internet only a tool for personal or group communication, or just a source of information? Is it all of the above or none? How different is it from preceding media of communication, like the radio, television and print?
- Does their Internet activity have any implication for transnationalism? The question arises because migrants and diasporas are transnational communities. And the present age of globalisation features cross border activities of moving groups and communities. Do the migrants therefore contribute to our understanding of transnationalism through the Internet?
- Is migrants’ engagement with the Internet useful for our understanding of nationalism? If the answer is affirmative, how is it so? And if not, why is it like that?
- Does the Internet contribute in any way to the shaping and reshaping of migrants’ identities, in a world where technologies of communication have become another means through which identity can possibly be constructed and (re)constructed in its complex and multiple forms?
These key points are not necessarily exhaustive. They however represent social issues that the process of communication affects. An investigation of the issues was in the light of my theoretical discussions of key matters around the project. It is also to see how the chosen Nigerian migrant case implicates them. The issues are obviously multi-stranded. The research was therefore one requiring a painstaking process, so analyses and discussions could be as close as possible to reality.
Keywords: International communication, transnationalism, construction, reconstruction.