About this Research Topic
The aim of this Research Topic is to explore and reflect upon the different ways in which migration research and digital advances have interacted in empirical investigations. On the one hand, the focus is placed on the different digital methodological approaches and tools researchers have used while unravelling migration patterns. For example, by turning pre-digital masses of migration data into digital datasets, linking records of digital data on migration from different transnational, national and/ or regional sources, researching online interview settings for migrants and the unravelling of discourses on migrants in digital newspaper articles. In other words, we pose the question: what has the digital brought to migration research?
On the other hand, the intention is to discuss how migration research has enriched digital practices. We are interested in research that displays, among others, concrete solutions to overcome the challenge of, for instance, negotiating between large datasets about migrants (such as arrival records) and small-scale datasets reporting about their micro-experiences (such as oral interviews). We therefore also pose the question: what has migration research brought to the digital?
This Research Topic aims to bring together prominent international researchers working in the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field of migration. It presents and discusses the methodologies, tools and practices they borrowed from or developed within fields such as digital humanities whether or not inspired by insights and methodologies from, among others, sociology, anthropology, political science, economic, urban and oral history, legal studies, media and communication, linguistics, and cultural and gender studies. At the same time, the publication evaluates infrastructure and tool development needs for research on migration and/or borders. In this way, it also constitutes a critical, innovative, and interdisciplinary platform for the discussion, exploration and sharing of the implications of the digital turn on migration research.
We welcome contributions that address the following and related themes:
• Theoretical reflections on digital transdisciplinary approaches to research on migration;
• The application of digital approaches to migration research;
• Historical and/or contemporary digital data in migration research (such as corpora, digital editions, catalogues, computational annotation, text collections, census data, etc.);
• The nature and implications of studying diverse forms and processes of migration in the digital space;
• The relationships between research on migration in the digital age and more critical reflections about the contours and definitions of ‘digital’;
• Innovative and creative methods to analyse and study migration through digital data;
• Challenges to hegemonistic views of digital heritage and digital history;
• The role of ICT in fostering communities and preserving cultural heritage in home and host lands;
• Technical and preservation issues to data curation and sustainability, privacy, security, legal, and policy concerns.
Migration both as a public debate and as a research area remains of the greatest contemporary relevance. Its argumentation is inextricably intertwined with wider social and political forces and changes; this Research Topic assumes therefore high contemporary relevance especially in relation to the ubiquitous impact of digital technologies on post-Covid humanity. The exponential digital acceleration brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic together with travel and migration restrictions provide a privileged viewpoint from which to reflect on mobility and displacement in varied contexts over time, including how approaches to migration studies have changed in the digital age. The main conclusions of this Research Topic serve therefore also as an updated way to explore the remarkable possibilities being offered for research by the ongoing digitisation and documentation of migration sources and data.
Keywords: migration research, digital turn, digital data, digital humanities, methodologies
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.