Ilona Tikka, Matthias Wevelsiep: Social Media for Immigrant Participation
Social media for Immigrant
Verkkodemokratia ja kansalaisten
osallistuminen seminaari 17.11.2010
ICT -supported citizen participation in the
processes of government and governance.
Many spheres of participation (social, cultural,
Levels of engagement (local, municipal, national,
Stages of policy making (from issue identification
to decision making and implementation)
Multiple stakeholders (citizens, NGOs, gov.
-> models for enhanced social, cultural and political participation
-> manuals for immigrant groups and authorities
Participatory action research involves a
continuing spiral of
◦ acting (implementing plans),
◦ observing (systematically),
◦ and so round the spiral again.
Participatory action research
Workshops in Lahti (approx once a month –
or 6 weeks)
Observation of activities (photos, video,
◦ Understanding of immigrant use of technology
Interviews (individual and group) and surveys
Worskhops/ Seminars with authorities
◦ Different platforms
Taking forth actions and initiatives
Women’s group (13-15 women)
◦ Some women have been in Finland for 20+ years, others only few weeks.
◦ Mainly Kurdish from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, but also Afgan, Bosnian and
Russian/ Ingrian Finn.
◦ Aged between 20-60+ years.
◦ Some have married during their 14-19 years of age, some married their
cousins or other extended family.
has been meeting for past nine years
◦ Sporadic attendance: with some members having taken part throughout,
whereas others have left and new women have joined.
◦ in danger of exclusion, due to linguistic, cultural, social, and educational
◦ Hazy understanding of groups/ individuals’ digital competence
◦ the emergence of generational and gendered gaps in immigrant e-
participation....”My children...” “My husband...”...
Entertainment (Youtube, games)
Communication (Facebook, Messenger)
Gaining new information (Google, Wiki)
What is the space?
What is the purpose?
Spheres of e-participation:
◦ Is the social and cultural more interesting than
Levels of engagement:
◦ Is the own ethnic/ transnational sphere more
relevant than the local/ national?
◦ How to engage local level and political e-
Ilona Tikka Matthias Wevelsiep
University of Helsinki, Palmenia Center for Continuing Education
eParticipation and social vs political integration
Local vs global e-participation