Counter-mapping the techno-hype in migration research

Tazzioli, Martina. 2023. Counter-mapping the techno-hype in migration research. Mobilities, ISSN 1745-0101 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

This paper deals with the techno-hype in migration research and argues that this latter reproduces a state-gaze on migration and technology. It contends that instead of focusing exclusively on the surveillance exercised on migrants through technology, it is key to investigate how migrants are affected by technologies and which struggles they engage over these. The paper develops a counter-mapping approach to the techno-hype which involves taking migrants’ struggles as a standpoint, challenging presentism, and investigating the assemblages of low-tech and high-tech in migration governance. The paper moves on by illustrating these two points. First, focusing on Greece, it interrogates what it means to see technology like a migrant, by considering how technologies obstruct migrants’ access to asylum and by analysing migrants’ claims over technology. Second, it undoes presentism by tracing the genealogy of border technologies, and explores the entanglements between low-tech and high-tech at the border. The paper concludes explaining that a counter-mapping approach conceptualises mobility not as a by-product of technologies of control but, rather, as what states try to bridle, channel and manage.

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techno-hype; migration; digital technologies; counter-mapping; migrants’ struggles

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21 December 2022Accepted
18 January 2023Published Online

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Date Deposited:

22 Dec 2022 09:13

Last Modified:

07 Mar 2023 16:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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