Associate Professor Arul Chib of  Nanyang Technological University, will present the School of IT colloquium with a talk entitled, "(Im)mobilities of Marginalized Migrants via Mobile Phones".

ABSTRACT: The research problem was premised on an emergent social situation of vulnerable transnational migrants, increasingly a sensationalized, politicized,marginalized population. In this talk I interrogate extant research on their mobile phone use as a tool for empowerment. Indeed, prevailing civic discourse and agrowing literature around migration posits the benefits of mobiles and mobilities for transnational migrants. This talk examines the social contexts, structures and positions, inhabited by migrants who face discriminatory and oppressive attitudes. Cases studies, focusing on gender issues, are presented from published work emanating from Singapore and Korea. I conclude with comments on ‘restricted agency’, examining the constraints of social and technological  systems of (im)mobilities.

BIO Associate Professor Arul Chib (Ph.D. University of Southern California) is at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. His research focuses on the impact and role of mobile phones in (a) healthcare systems in resource-constrained environments of developing countries, and (b) transnational migration to developed countries, and is particularly interested in intersects of marginalization. 

Dr. Chib was awarded the 2011 Prosper.NET-Scopus Award for the use of ICTs for sustainable development, accompanied by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, one of the highest honors in the European tradition. He has been awarded fellowships at Ludwig Maxmilians University and University of Southern California. He serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Annals of the International Communication Association and Mobile Media and Communication, and is on the Publication Committee of the International Communication Association.

Dr. Chib has been the Principal Investigator of the SIRCA (Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance) programme since 2008, mentoring emerging researchers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Global collaborations with IDRC, Red Cross Red Crescent, Singapore Ministry of Education, Text to Change, UNICEF, UNFPA, and World Vision have led to research grants of S$ 5.6 Mn. Dr. Chib has presented keynote speeches in Germany, USA, and Singapore. He was General Chair of the 7th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, and served on the organizing committees of IFIP 8.6 2013 and ICTD 2012. His co-edited book Critical perspectives on Open Development, published by MIT Press, is forthcoming.