What is this research about?
Several studies demonstrate that immigrants use computers and the Internet more than non-immigrants or earlier immigrants. In this study, the researcher sought to answer these questions: What motivates immigrants to use information and communication technology (ICT)? What are the factors that influence immigrants’ ICT behaviors?
What do you need to know?
Several studies assessing immigrants’ struggles in adjusting to the host country’s environment have identified that ICTs—mainly computers and the internet—play pivotal roles in the successful resettlement of immigrants.
What did the researchers do?
The author chose 20 peer-reviewed articles published between 2001 and 2015 to study immigrants’ motivations for ICT adoption and use.
Six studies discussed the issues of immigrants in the U.S. Ten studies (two from each country) focused on immigrants in New Zealand, Israel, Canada, Germany, and The Netherlands. Two studies (one from each country) examined immigrants’ ICT adoption in Australia and Singapore. The two remaining articles were based on literature review. These articles demonstrated a trend that immigrants from developing countries (i.e., South America, Africa, and Asia) resided in developed countries in North America (U.S. and Canada), West Europe (Germany and The Netherlands), and Australia (Australia and New Zealand). Interestingly, two small but developed Asian nations (Israel and Singapore) were also among the countries that received immigrants.
Of the 20 articles, 17 were empirical studies. The three remaining performed meta-analysis on immigrants’ adjustment to their new environment, as well as their use of ICTs to facilitate their transition. Among the empirical studies: five used semi- structured interviews; five used survey methods; three used ethnographic studies; two used focus groups; and two used in-depth interviews. Of the three meta-analyses, two studies were based on literature review and one study used data from the Canadian Internet Use Survey-2010.
What did the researchers find?
The article discusses two motives for immigrants’ ICT use, as well as identify seven factors influencing adoption, non-adoption, use, and non-use.
The two key motivations for ICT adoption and use by immigrants are:
The seven factors influencing immigrants’ decisions to adopt and use ICTs were:
By using ICTs, immigrants can:
Several studies indicate that:
Immigrants’ Motivations for ICT Use:
How can you use this research?
Drawing from the selected articles, it was found that immigrants’ motivation for ICT adoption and use was unique and did not remain intact for a long time. Rather, immigrants’ communication with people back home slowly faded. In turn, interaction with local people in the host country gradually increased. This is useful for immigrant and refugee-serving organizations to understand.
As newcomer clients move through the various stages of settlement, it's important to note how their use of ICTs and the reasons why they use them shifts. It's also important to recognize the real digital divide among newcomers and how that can impact their access to information and services in an increasingly digitized world.