When the Civic Turn turns Digital: Designing Safe and Secure Refugee Resettlement

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Across Europe, refugees are required to engage with the "civic turn" -- a process of integrating refugees into the social and cultural aspects of the new land. Over a two-year period, we engaged 89 refugees settling in Sweden, to explore how accelerated and digitalised resettlement processes shape the civic turn. Framed within wider literature on transitioning and everyday insecurities, we show how this "digital turn"' exacerbates existing barriers to resettlement experienced by refugees. By critically analysing these barriers, we reveal how the civic turn rests upon a series of everyday social and cultural practices and relations, which are largely ignored in digital service design. We show how this leads to a "vacuum" for our participants. We call on the HCI community to engage with this vacuum and understand resettlement as encompassing multiple digitally-mediated transitional phases of citizenry. We do so by focusing on the digitalisation processes shaping these transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCHI'20
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6708-0/20/04
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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