The special issue is edited by Giuliana Costa along with Grazia Concilio and Maryam Karimi.
The theme of the issue is:
In many European countries, the integration of “old” migrants across generations as well as “newcomers”, such as refugees and asylum seekers, constitutes a serious challenge for society as a whole as well as a unique opportunity to transform it. Obstacles and pitfalls are nonetheless in place. Inequalities related to ethnic and migration backgrounds are evident, such as socioeconomic and spatial segregation (including labor, school, and housing ones), little use of welfare resources compared to autochthonous populations, modest upward mobility processes, deficient recognition of migrant skills and competences in the hosting societies, discrimination in access to opportunities, concealed racism, etc.
Frequently, it is very confusing and difficult for (im)migrants to understand how to “navigate” a host country, its opportunities and obstacles in accessing crucial resources. Recent advancements in ICT development and services digitization represent an opportunity to enable (im)migrants to better understand the context in which they are inserted. ICT solutions can also quicken and ease integration processes towards more equal access to services as well as provide flexibilization and adaptation to the needs of (im)migrants that are characterized by an increasing differentiation connected to their diverse backgrounds, skills, patterns, and experiences.
Integration goals, at the same time, are challenging ICT development and representing an opportunity toward policy innovation thanks to the experimentation of emerging technological solutions in environments and domains hardly represented in the ICT market demand. Currently, there are several European projects directly involving migrants, public authorities, research institutions, and IT companies with the aim to facilitate migrants’ integration and to develop solutions to ease their access to the existing social systems and public welfare. Using ICTs for developing better and more effective services for migrants according to their actual needs can be considered one of the integration strategies deployed by single countries, regions or single cities.
Social Sciences seeks to develop better links between theoretical and empirical research and policy practice related to (im)migrant integration through ICT solutions. This Special Issue welcomes both theoretical or methodological articles and empirical research-based contributions that cast light on if, to what extent, and under which conditions ICT solutions enable (im)migrants to better access and use services and/or increase their wellbeing and discuss how ICT innovations may open up for social science, urban research, and urban policy, especially in Europe. Articles can be country-based or have a comparative approach. In this regard, we invite research papers from both academic and practitioner communities in the following three thematic areas: (Im)migrants’ Integration through the Use of Technology, Engaging (Im)migrants in the Co-Creation of IT Solutions toward Integration eICT to Explore Integration Pitfalls, Obstacles, and Opportunities.
The dealine for sending the abstracts is 30 December 2020, while final papers should be delivered by 30 June 2021.
For more details, we invite to consult the website of the Journal at the following link: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/socsci/special_issues/immigrants_integration