• Maïder Gabrielle Marguerite Piola-Urtizberea
  • Polly Olivia Martin
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), considered as smartphones, mobile phones and on occasion computers throughout this thesis, revealed themselves to be more than a connection to family, it was a life-saving object, a journey companion for asylum seekers making the journey across Europe. The aim of this thesis is to explore and understand the importance and influence of these pieces of mobile technology over asylum seekers’ decision-making process whilst crossing Europe. 
We draw upon data collected through qualitative methods: interviews, participant observations, reports and studies. Eight interviews were conducted with asylum-seekers and refugees, currently living in Denmark or Belgium, as well as with professionals in the field concerned with and interested in the subject. Our collected data is framed and analysed through a specific theoretical framework, relying mainly on Latour’s ‘Actor-Network Theory’ (1996), an approach about the significance of nonhuman actants in human decisions. This theory is supported by Xiang and Lindquist’s ‘Migration Infrastructure’ approach (2014), demonstrating how a migrant is being moved by several structural dimensions and their elements. Finally, ‘Social Navigation’ by Vigh (2006) will supplement this whole subject approach, offering an interpretative tool with regards to the strategies deployed by asylum seekers as they migrate. 
The analysis of this thesis is organised around three working-questions, supplementing the research question through three axes of exploration. We begin with an enquiry about asylum seekers’ decision-making process upon their final destination country, followed by an examination regarding asylum seekers’ strategies to bypass the European regulatory system and lastly we consider the means by which asylum-seekers avoid the use of smugglers to carry out their journey. 
Keywords: ICTs, asylum seekers, strategies, digital humanitarianism, Latour, Xiang & Lindquist, Vigh, ‘Migration Infrastructure’, ‘Actor-Network Theory’, ‘Social Navigation’.
ID: 264086994