Immigrant-Experience Narratives in a Digital Context

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


Communicating experience is integral to everyday life, and the oral narratives of immigrants describing hope, joy, fear, sorrow, anxiety, and ennui, give a ground-level context for understanding what it is to be an immigrant in the contemporary world. Based on ethnographic interviews with contributors living in the North-East of Scotland, my research examines stories of immigrants from numerous backgrounds, prioritising the commonalities of immigrant experience rather than the arbitrary demarcations of national origin. This paper begins by briefly introducing some of the concepts treated in my research, such as home, arrival, borders, identity, culture, tradition, and belief. The paper then focuses on references to Internet-based video communication in the narratives I have recorded. The creation of technologies that allow for instantaneous communication via moving image, as well as sound, has transformed how individuals connect and share their lives with friends and family abroad. This improved communication has, in turn, affected how contributors recount and interpret their own lives as immigrants. By presenting narratives via audio extracts and transcribed texts, I aim to emphasise the contributors’ own words and theoretical considerations, while demonstrating the expert storytelling needed to express personal experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 14 Jun 2015


  • Folklore
  • Folklore studies
  • digital
  • Narrative


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