The Role of New Media in Multicultural Australia: A Study of Thai, Rohingya and Hmong Communities

In becoming a part of Australia’s multicultural community, members of ethnic minorities need to communicate and stay connected with their friends, family and others in Australia in order to ensure their community cohesion. In the 1990s, mobile devices in turn underwent another major technological innovation—access to the internet. Mobile device users can access the internet much more conveniently than ever before. Communication via mobile devices has become one of the most common ways through which minority people are empowered to sustain and constitute their community connections today. This Higher Degree research mainly focuses on new media use (the mobile internet) amongst Australia’s multicultural communities. It aims to better understand the ways in which various ethnic community groups communicate via mobile devices. First, the project explores whether communities are using these technologies to sustain and constitute their community connections and cultures. Secondly, it investigates what broader impact this communication technology is having on minority communities in Australia. Three minority communities — Thai, Rohingya and Hmong — are the subjects of research. The ultimate goal is to find ways to help policymakers to assist ethnic minorities to live their life in a multicultural country like Australia. The project employed a case study methodology as the main research approach which also includes the application of Ethnographic Action Research (EAR). This approach will allow the research questions or issues to be explored more deeply and contextually through the real experiences of the selected community participants and their particular cultural environments.

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EISSN: 2407-9499


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