Connecting homeland and borders using mobile telephony: Exploring the state of Tamil refugees in Indian camps

Akshaya Sreenivasan, Steve Bien-Aimé, Colleen Connolly-Ahern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article attempts to explain how mobile phones influence how Sri Lankan Tamil refugees perceive cultural, psychological, and physical borders. Grounded in the information and communications technology (ICT) literature and diaspora communications, the lead author conducted twelve in-depth interviews with Mandapam camp residents in Tamilnadu, India, during Summer 2013. Results indicate that while camp refugees considered Sri Lanka their “motherland,” fear of government surveillance coupled with skepticism regarding the peace process impedes their return, even though official hostilities have ceased. However, mobile communications allow them to create a virtual community, which is important because camp life essentially separates them from both India and Sri Lanka.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-110
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Information Policy
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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