The rear-view mirror and the periscope: the meaning of computer-mediated information for refugees
Diaz Andrade, AE
MetadataShow full metadata
This research-in-progress analyses the meaning of computer-mediated information and how it can contribute to the different aspects of human development. By explicitly recognising that the notion of human development goes beyond indicators of material progress, it adopts the view of human freedom as development. The unit of analysis are individuals who entered New Zealand as refugees, who received a refurbished computer with Internet access upon the successful completion of a government-sponsored, basic computer-training course. Following an inductive approach according to the tenets of grounded theory, the data collected through 10 in-depth interviews is analysed. Although the point of theoretical saturation has not been reached yet, the analysis so far reveals a twofold pattern of the meaning of computer-mediated information. This twofold pattern is expressed in the form of a metaphor by referring to two objects used to produce image representations: the rear-view mirror and the periscope. As a rear-view mirror, computer-mediated information makes possible for the refugees to connect back to their roots. As a periscope, computer-mediated information allows refugees to observe – and to some extent being part of – the activities happening in the host country without necessarily being exposed to other members of the community.