Mediatization of (Im)mobility Experiences: New Media Use of (Im)mobile Groups

Sander Salvet, Anu Masso


Theoretical literature and ethnographic studies suggest that individual spatial (im)mobility and new media use are becoming increasingly interlaced through mediatization. In this article, we tested this assumption quantitatively, by examining possible associations between media use and emigration wishes which we interpreted as an indicator of spatial (im)mobility potential. Analysis of data collected in autumn 2014 in Estonia via a representative survey (n = 1,503), enabled the following research questions to be answered: 1) How have the emigration wishes of estonia’s population changed over time, in regard to mediatization? 2) What kind of media use patterns describe individuals with different emigration wishes? the results showed that, compared to earlier surveys, the (im)mobility potential of the general population had not considerably changed. The mobility potential was indeed interlaced with more active and versatile use of new media, and immobility potential with less active and diverse use of new media. Yet, these associations could be explained by generational differences, as younger respondents prefer to emigrate and use new media, while older respondents wish to stay in the country of origin and follow traditional media.


mediatization; social transformation; (im)mobility; communication geography; social media use; emigration wishes

Full Text:



Agger B. (2011). iTime: Labor and life in a smartphone era. Time Society, Vol. 20(1), pp. 119–136.

Al-Rawi A. (2017). Facebook and virtual nationhood: social media and the Arab Canadians community. AI & Society, pp. 1–13.

Bauman Z. (1995). Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality. Blackwell: Oxford.

Cadwallader M.T. (1992). Migration and Residential Mobility: Macro and Micro Approaches. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison.

Carling J., Schewel K. (2018). Revisiting aspiration and ability in international migration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 44(6), pp. 945–963.

Castells M. (1998). End of Millennium: Th Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, Vol. 3. Blackwell: Oxford.

Castles S. (2010). Key issues in global migration – a human development approach. Migration Policy Review, Vol. 2(2), pp. 169–190.

Castles S. (2013). The forces driving global migration. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 34(2), pp. 122–140.

Castles S. (2014). International migration at a crossroads. Citizenship Studies, Vol. 18(2), pp. 190–207.

Collin P. (2014). Digitally enhanced? Mediated migration and ‘fourth wave’ Chileans in Australia. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 35(5), pp. 532–548.

Couldry N., Hepp A. (2017). The Mediated Construction of Reality: Society, Culture, Mediatization. Polity Press: Cambridge.

Dekker R., Engebersen G. (2014). How social media transform migrant networks and facilitate migration. Global Networks, Vol. 14(4), pp. 401–418.

Dekker R., Belabas W., Scholten P. (2015). Interethnic contact online: contextualising the implications of social media use by second-generation migrant youth. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 36(4), pp. 450-467.

Dubois Y. et al. (2015). Motility and high mobility. In: G. Viry, V. Kaufmann (Eds.), High Mobility in Europe: Work and Personal Life. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke–New York pp. 101–128.

Flamm M., Kaufmann V. (2006). Operationalising the concept of motility: A qualitative study. Mobilities, Vol. 1(2), pp. 167–189.

Giddens A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

Glukhov A. (2017). Construction of national identity through a social network: A case study of ethnic networks of immigrants to Russia from Central Asia. AI & Society, Vol. 32(1), pp. 101–108.

Hiller H.H., Franz T.M. (2004). New ties, old ties and lost ties: the use of the Internet in diaspora. New Media & Diaspora, Vol. 6(6), pp. 731–752.

Jansson A. (2018). Mediatization and Mobile Lives. A Critical Approach. Routledge: New York–Oxon.

Kang T. (2011). Online spatialisation and embodied experiences: Th London-based Chinese community. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 32(5), pp. 465–477.

Komito L. (2011). Social media and migration: Virtual community 2.0. Journal of the American Society for Information Science And Technology, Vol. 62(6), pp. 1075–1086.

Krotz F. (2017). Explaining the mediatisation approach. Javnost – The Public. Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture, Vol. 24(2), pp. 103–118.

Lášticová B. (2014). New media, social capital and transnational migration: Slovaks in the UK. Human Affairs, Vol. 24(4), pp. 406–422.

Lunt P., Livingstone S. (2015). Is ‘mediatization’ the new paradigm for our field? A commentary on Deacon and Stanyer (2014, 2015) and Hepp, Hjarvard and Lundby (2015). Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 38(3), pp. 462–470.

Madianou M. (2014). Polymedia communication and mediatized migration: An ethnographic approach. In: K. Lundby (Ed.), Mediatization of Communication. De Gruyter Mouton: Berlin, pp. 323–346.

Marino S. (2015). Making space, making place: Digital togetherness and the redefiition of migrant identities online. Social Media + Society, Vol. 1(2), pp. 1–9.

Masso A., Silm S., Ahas R. (2019). Generational diffrences in spatial mobility: A study with mobile phone data. Population, Space and Place, Vol. 25(2), pp. 1–15.

OECD (2018). NUP rates by place of birth and sex,, 20.06.2019.

Oh J.-H. (2016). Immigration and social capital in a Korean-American women’s online community: Supporting acculturation, cultural pluralism, and transnationalism. New Media & Society, Vol. 18(10), pp. 2224–2241.

Salvet S. (2014). Eesti venekeelsete noorte etno-kultuurilise identiteedi tõlgendusviisid õppekeele kontekstis (MA thesis). University of Tartu: Tartu.

Schrooten M. (2012). Moving ethnography online: researching Brazilian migrants’ online togetherness. Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 35(10), pp. 1794–1809.

Soll M., Salvet S., Masso A. (2014). Õppekeele roll Eesti venekeelsete õpilaste etnokultuurilise identiteedi kujunemisel. Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri, Vol. 2(2), pp. 200−236.

Soll M., Salvet S., Masso A. (2015). Changes in language policy in Estonia: Self-descriptions of Russian-speaking students. Trames: Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 19(3), pp. 221−247.

Sztompka P. (1994). Agency and Structure: Reorienting Social Theory. Gordon and Breach: Philadelphia.

Tabor A., Milfont T. (2013). We are all in the same boat: How online communities facilitate the process of migration. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, Vol. 42(1), pp. 31–35.

Vihalemm P., Masso A. (2017). „Mina. Maailm. Meedia“ metoodikast. In: P. Vihalemm et al. (Eds.), Eesti ühiskond kiirenevas ajas: Uuringu „Mina. Maailm. Meedia“ 2002–2014 tulemused. University of Tartu Press: Tartu, pp. 96–109.

Wenjing X. (2005). Virtual space, real identity: Exploring cultural identity of Chinese Diaspora in virtual community. Telematics and Informatics, Vol. 22, pp. 395–404.

Data publikacji: 2019-10-16 16:31:01
Data złożenia artykułu: 2018-10-31 22:27:51


Total abstract view - 1469
Downloads (from 2020-06-17) - PDF - 0



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Sander Salvet, Anu Masso

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.