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MIG@NET Synthesis Report – Research Design

This report sets out the main methodological, conceptual and theoretical premises that will inform the fieldwork that is to be done in these thematic areas and points to the prospects for bringing together and synthesizing the research findings and results at the end of the project. The report attempts, more importantly, to highlight the interconnections amongst the thematic research areas, and shows that they should not be seen as disparate fields of enquiry. In the first section, thus, the report analyses the common concepts and methods that cut across all the research thematic fields. In the second section, the report presents in more detail the research in each one of the thematic areas.



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Mapping the digitalisation of migration

In parallel with the research design all the teams have worked collaboratively in order to identify some key online sites and networks that will be studied through various methodological tools in each of the thematic packages. This work was organised through the usage of the social bookmarking web tool delicious.com/mignetproject. 174 key sites have been bookmarked, thus far, and have been linked to several keywords/tags that form the project’s conceptual framework. This bookmarking of online sources has been mapped through three different methods that emanate from three different aesthetic forms.

First, through database aesthetics. The sub-site that was created for the collection of the online is in fact a mini database (http://www.delicious.com/mignetproject/). Its structure does not “order this list” of sources in a predefined way and there is no central narrative that can represent it. The navigation of this sub-site reveals the multiple possibilities of re-using and re-ordering this list of sources and of creating alternate visual representations of it. The sub-site functions as a kind of digital map based on what Manovich calls the aesthetic of the database (Manovich, 2001) .

Second, through geolocation aesthetics. All 174 online sources have been placed on an interactive web map according to the various topologies that have been linked with them through the bookmarking that the research teams did. This map is publicly available at http://www.mignetproject.eu/apps/map/

Third, through online video aesthetics. The online sources that were collected by the research teams were used in the creation of 7 online videos – 1 per each thematic package. Each video attempts a conceptual mapping of the sites and networks that were chosen by the research teams, trying to capture the main theoretical premises that will inform the fieldwork. The videos are available at http://www.youtube.com/mignetproject.

These three mappings are not supposed to complement or refute one another. They, are supposed to be seen, instead, as operationalising an understanding of the process of mapping as the co-presence of a multiplicity of perspectives and performances.