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Exploring the Relationship between Information and Communication Technology Collective Behaviors and Sense of Community: An Urban Refugee Analysis
|Title:||Exploring the Relationship between Information and Communication Technology Collective Behaviors and Sense of Community: An Urban Refugee Analysis|
|Publisher:||Journal of Information Technology & People|
|Citation:||Canevez, R., Maitland, C., Xu, Y., Hannah, S., & Rodriguez, R. (2021). Exploring the Relationship between Information and Communication Technology Collective Behaviors and Sense of Community: An Urban Refugee Analysis. Information Technology & People. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-03-2020-0112|
Helping others use information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, can be beneficial for individuals and communities. In urban refugee communities, displaced and living far from home, collective behaviors with mobile phones can generate a sense of belonging. We explore the potential for these offline behaviors to generate a sense of community among urban refugees.
Using quantitative evidence, we examined the relationship between collective behaviors, such as sharing or helping with a mobile phone, and sense of community. We analyzed survey data collected from urban refugees in Rwanda via multiple regression to test hypotheses related to the impact of collective behaviors on sense of community, as well as the mediating role of ICT self-efficacy and gender.
Our findings suggest collective behaviors with mobile phones have a positive relationship with sense of community, driven primarily by providing assistance as compared to sharing. ICT self-efficacy was positively related to sense of community. However, collective behaviors’ impacts differed by gender, suggesting that social dynamics influence this relationship.
While extant literature highlights the various roles of mobile phones in refugees’ lives, less is known about the social aspects of use and its potential to help overcome isolation by fostering a sense of community. We extend this literature to a novel context (urban refugees in the Global South), testing a model that incorporates other factors that may play a role (e.g. self-efficacy, gender). These findings are valuable to urban refugees, due to difficulties in re-building a sense of community and increased ICT access.
|Description:||Pre-print draft manuscript|
|Journal:||Journal of Information Technology & People|
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