About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 1109 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0410

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

PERCEPTIONS OF USE OF ICT AMONG TEMPORARY MIGRANT WORKERS IN CANADA AND THEIR FEMALE PARTNERS

C. Hernandez Limon1, S. Collin2

1Borough of Manhattan Community College (UNITED STATES)
2Université du Québec (CANADA)
Canada and Mexico have a strong, longstanding connection due to Mexican migration to Canada. According to Statistics Canada (2001), 244,400 people with Latin-American heritage were living in Canada in 2001, with 15 % having Mexican origins. In Canada, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) is designed to help agriculture producers recruit migrant workers from particular Latin-American or Caribbean countries (with Mexico being the main provider of SAWP workers) for short periods of time (2 to 8 months a year). While temporary migrant workers have some benefits from participating to the SAWP, their precarious social conditions in Canada raise issues of inequalities. As a way to address these issues, some studies highlight the fact that ICT access and use can contribute to the empowerment and emancipation of migrants and disadvantaged communities, either in terms of democratic participation, social capital, sense of community or economic development opportunities. In the case of temporary migrant workers, ICT can provide opportunities to communicate easily and stay in touch with family members. Social network sites (e.g. Facebook), email, mobile phones (with calling cards) and IP telephony (e.g., Skype) can be used as a means of compensating for lack of physical proximity (Ross, 2010). From this point of view, we can expect temporary migrant workers to engage with a diverse set of ICT tools like smartphones and personal computers, as they migrate over short periods of time and on a regular basis. Furthermore, income and remittances earned through migration can give migrant workers and their families the opportunity to invest in ICT.

In this context, the main objective of this project is to deepen our understanding of how SAWP workers and their female partners are positioned and empowered in regards to the digital divide. Through a survey and group interviews with Mexican and Guatemalan temporary migrant workers in Canada and their female counterparts in their countries of origin, we examined how migrant workers are using Information and Communication Technologies prior, during, and after migrating to work temporarily in Canadian farms and connect with their families. The sample consisted of seventy-one temporary migrant workers in Canada and eight wives of the workers in México and Guatemala.

Our findings indicate that technology use among migrant workers in Canada is quite limited overall, the cellphone being the most frequent – and for most participants, the only – technology they use. The primary reasons for using ICT were to communicate with their families in their countries of origin, which directly depends on the connectivity the families have at home. Regarding the use of different devices during the immigration period, the female partners reported that the opportunities to access the Internet in México and Guatemala have increased. The general perception of the Internet connections in their countries of origin is that the Internet is available, but it is expensive, and not everyone is connected, which raises issues about digital inequalities. Overall, the study provides an important first step toward improving conditions for temporary migrant workers and their families by analyzing the advantages, challenges and outcomes of ICT access and use.
@InProceedings{HERNANDEZLIMON2017PER,
author = {Hernandez Limon, C. and Collin, S.},
title = {PERCEPTIONS OF USE OF ICT AMONG TEMPORARY MIGRANT WORKERS IN CANADA AND THEIR FEMALE PARTNERS},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0410},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0410},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1109}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Hernandez Limon AU - S. Collin
TI - PERCEPTIONS OF USE OF ICT AMONG TEMPORARY MIGRANT WORKERS IN CANADA AND THEIR FEMALE PARTNERS
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0410
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 1109
EP - 1109
ER -
C. Hernandez Limon, S. Collin (2017) PERCEPTIONS OF USE OF ICT AMONG TEMPORARY MIGRANT WORKERS IN CANADA AND THEIR FEMALE PARTNERS, INTED2017 Proceedings, p. 1109.
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