ISSN: 23977140
First published in 2017
2 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 2
Cover Date: October 2017
International students and social exclusion in the age of social media
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Authors:  Xinyu Zhao 
DOI: 10.1386/tjtm.1.2.163_1

digital ethnography,everyday life,international students,social exclusion,social inclusion,social media practices

This article considers the changing nature of international students’ lived experiences of disadvantage in Australia in the context of their daily practices of social media. Specifically, it first engages with the extant empirical research on social media practices in the migration context which points to the contingent impacts of digital technologies on migrants’ everyday lives. This body of literature suggests the possibility to probe into the lived experiences of migrants and their everyday strategies through a close examination of their activities around social media. Further, this article attends to studies in the Australian international student literature which highlights the interplays of digital technologies and international student agency. An analysis of the studies suggests how the students’ struggles with social exclusion are entangled with their everyday social media practices in a variety of ways. At the same time, the complex roles of social media problematize how we understand international students’ experiences in the host nation and how we could re-conceptualize ‘social exclusion’ and ‘social inclusion’. For that reason, this article calls for more nuanced approaches towards understanding international students’ lived experiences through the multiple ways international students integrate digital media technologies like social media into their everyday lives. Methodologically, digital ethnographic methods are discussed to facilitate such approaches in innovatively revealing the subtlety of international student mobilities and lived experiences in host societies.
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