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Mobile Technology for Social Inclusion of Migrants in the Age of Globalization: A Case Study of Newly Arrived Healthcare Professionals in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Nataliya Berbyuk Lindström
Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi
Published in The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 1-18
ISSN 1832-3669
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Pages 1-18
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.18848/1832-3669/...
Keywords Social Inclusion, Migrants, Health Care Professionals (HCPs), Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL)
Subject categories Learning, Technology and social change, International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Communication Studies

Abstract

In 2015–2016, an increased number of migrants entered the European Union. Supporting them in entering host societies and enhancing their social inclusion is a challenge. An essential inclusionary step is providing language and host culture training for the newcomers as well as supporting them in making contacts with locals. Mobile technology, due to its accessibility, can be a bridging tool between migrants and host societies. This study investigates the needs of a specific group of migrants—namely, newly arrived health care professionals (HCPs)—in terms of employability and integration into the labour market. Further, it reports on a user test conducted to explore how a specific mobile application “Welcome!” meets these needs and promotes HCPs’ integration into Swedish society. A qualitative methodology based on semi-structured focus group interviews and questionnaires with HCPs was used. The results show that the respondents express strong needs in language for specific purposes and intercultural communication training in relation to the healthcare context as well as in making contacts with professionals, which can be beneficial to obtaining employment. As the app provides opportunities for more general language training and contacts with locals, the participants showed little interest in using it. The study gives suggestions for developing mobile tools for supporting social inclusion of highly educated migrants, emphasizing the need to consider specific subpopulations in the design of mobile applications for migrant integration.

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