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[ 12.10.2011 ] - «15 minutes closer» — ConnectIEM on-line survey welcomes participants from 8 EU countries

«Mobile phones and internet allow us to be closer,» says the headline of ConnectIEM campaign that targets migrant communities in 8 EU countries. A group of sociologists at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, being part of international team, are prepared to invite several hundreds of people in Latvia to share thoughts about their experience with computers, Internet and mobile phones in everyday life. The aim of the project is to explore relation between technology and social, economic and cultural integration of migrant population.

On April 2011, ConnectIEM was launched with the main purpose of gathering statistically representative and cross-country comparable data on ICT skills, access and usage of the main migration groups living in 8 EU Member States. This study, which represents the first European thorough attempt at exploring the relation between technology and integration processes of migrant population, will also develop evidence-based policy recommendations aimed at improving the contribution of ICT to IEM's integration in our society.

The main goals of the study is to better understand how immigrant communities in the European Union use information and communication technologies (ICT) — and the effects of this use on their social, economic, and cultural integration. By ICT we mean all kinds of digital tools and applications, in particular those based on computers; the Internet, the web and social networking sites; mobile phones, smart phones and other mobile devices.
 
The project seeks to answer some of these questions:
  • How is ICT being appropriated by IEM groups in Europe and which role does it play in helping individuals position themselves within the new order of informational capitalism?
  •  Do «connected» IEM have better chances of integration?
  •  What are the potential uses of ICT to remove barriers and empower migrants?
The research board is designing an online survey to capture the patterns of skills, use and access of about 5,400 connected IEM in the following EU countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Latvia Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. The online survey will be conducted with the help of local researchers, social organizations and intermediaries. These will contribute to promote the survey towards the targeted IEM groups in each country and to contextualize the results which will likely reflect also country-specific features. The survey will be available from October 10th, 2011 until December, 2011.
 
A group of sociologists at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology provide required local scientific expertise for the project, thus continuing a long-standing tradition of participation in cross-national comparative research. Together with colleagues from several European countries, researchers Aleksandrs Aleksandrovs, Ieva Kārkliņa and Ilze Koroļeva seek solutions to many-sided methodological and implementation challenges set by the European Commission.
 
ConnectIEM is a research project commissioned by the Directorate General Information Society and Media (DG INFSO) and the Joint Research Center – Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) from the European Commission, and it will be carried-out until March 2012, its total duration being of eleven months.
 
Requests for additional information about ConnectIEM activities in Latvia should be addressed to researcher Aleksandrs Aleksandrovs (aleksandrsa |at| gmail.com).
    Last changes: 06.11.2012