In recent decades, social networking sites (SNSs) have revolutionized transnational immigrant social networks channels. SNSs have become a source for engagement within these migrant communities and facilitate a fervent discourse on their perceptions and overall engagement with host societies. In this study, we aim to examine this discourse as they play out over the SNS landscape. Specifically, we ask how does the use of SNSs shape the encounter between migrant workers and host societies? To explore this query we suggest focusing on the case of live-in Filipino caregivers in Israel and their manifestations of host national identification on Facebook. Through an extensive methodological design that incorporates over 800 Facebook postings, and supported by an extensive ethnographic research, the study identified cultural constructs that integrated Israeli cultural components into the local Filipino discourse were identified and classified by four thematic categories: exploring Hebrew performance, Israeli annual festivities and Jewish holidays, current affairs in Israel and discussing Israeli public places. These findings underscore an affinity between these migrant workers and the local culture in what we deem as ‘Digital Host National Identification’. The study suggests that understanding this development can be conducive to understanding (albeit partial) integration processes of marginalized communities, elucidating temporary migrants’ cultural encounter with their host society and the role of computer-mediated-communications in representing these encounters to both local and international publics.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018, © AMIC/WKWSCI-NTU 2018.
- Host national identification
- assimilation theory
- migrant workers
- social networking sites
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