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    Immigrant Bloggers and Sensemaking: Technology Mediated Acculturation and Cultural Brokerage

    Nardon, Luciara and Aten, Kathryn and Vesekari-Metcalfe, Anna (2012) Immigrant Bloggers and Sensemaking: Technology Mediated Acculturation and Cultural Brokerage. Proceedings of the New Frontiers in Management and Organizational Cognition Conference. ISSN 978-1-909561-01-4

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    Millions of people are engaged in work abroad every year either through migration, expatriation or short overseas assignments. Understanding how people deal with foreign cultures and contexts is of key importance for individuals and organizations employing them, and has been the focus of management research since the late 1970’s (see Black, Mendenhall & Oddou, 1991 for a review). A common theme in the expatriate and cultural adjustment literature is the importance of cultural training and cultural translators in facilitating the transition into new cultures (e.g. Soloman, 1994; Janssens, 1995; Steers, Nardon & Sanchez-Runde, in press). For the purpose of this research we conceptualize acculturation as a process of sensemaking and focus on the role played by sociocultural brokers (Glanz, Williams & Hoekesema, 2001). Sociocultural brokers are individuals who distribute knowledge, and that are able to bridge cultures and influence interpretation between cultures. Through personal accounts and stories, cultural brokers develop relationships and help individuals to make sense of discrepancies or problems and identify solutions and appropriate actions. The emergence and growing popularity of social media in general, and blogs in particular, have provided sojourner and migrants new mechanisms to acquire and share cultural information. A blogs is a website or part of a website were people post material on a regular basis. A blog is the equivalent of an online diary except that it is meant for public distribution and stimulates a conversation with other likeminded individuals. The number of blogs is growing exponentially, and it was estimated in November of 2011 to be at about 175 million (Pensato, 2011). Initially, bloggers used blogs as a mean to communicate with friends and family, but increasingly, bloggers are using blogs to communicate with other bloggers (Technorati, 2011). These conversations generate virtual communities as bloggers comment on and provide links to other blogs. The blogs of immigrants offer a window into the process of acculturation. They provide longitudinal, rich, present tense accounts of every day events and reflections, which are the foundation of sensemaking and acculturation. Thus, immigrant blogs provide a unique and valuable data source for studying acculturation. We conceptualize immigrant and expatriate bloggers as a new generation of sociocultural brokers. New media provides these blogging sociocultural brokers with different tools provided such as interactivity, connectivity, multimedia (not only text, but also images, movies and audio), and immediacy. These blogging sociocultural brokers also have the potential to reach a significantly broader audience than their traditional counterparts. Despite their increasing importance, we know very little about how they operate and their potential impact in the acculturation process. In this study we investigate how blogging technology influences the process of acculturation and cultural brokerage through an analysis of blogs written by foreign individuals living in Canada. Our objective is to develop a process model of technology mediated acculturation and cultural brokerage.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Immigrant Bloggers; Sensemaking; Technology Mediated Acculturation; Cultural Brokerage; Managerial and Organizational Cognition;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 4059
    Depositing User: Professor Robert Galavan
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 09:36
    Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the New Frontiers in Management and Organizational Cognition Conference
    Publisher: National University of Ireland Maynooth
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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