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Bangladeshi Diaspora Community, Social Networks and Finland : A journey from migration to integration

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Title: Bangladeshi Diaspora Community, Social Networks and Finland : A journey from migration to integration
Author(s): Joyee, Nabila Jahan
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Degree program: Master's Programme in European and Nordic Studies
Specialisation: Social Sciences Study Track
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2021
This master’s thesis aims to provide a broader and deeper knowledge within the areas of migration and integration. The study tasks are how the diaspora community is involved in the overall migration and integration process in a host state and what role social networks play in different phases of migration. There are four essential conceptual features of the migration phenomenon are identified in the study: migration, integration, diaspora community, and social networks. These concepts are analysed focusing on the factors of migration, integration process, how diaspora community and social networks work. The analysis is done using a comprehensive case study on the Bangladeshi diaspora community in Finland. The study material is collected through semi-structured interviews with 10 Bangladeshi student migrants living in Finland. As a potential migrant group as well as an underexamined study group, student migrants are chosen the study participants. A thematic analysis of the data is carried out to unveil the underlying meanings of how student migrants narrate their experiences as an immigrant. The themes identified are used to critically reflect on and explore the aspects and dynamics of the nexus between diasporas and social networks in migration and integration. This study outcomes identify education as the major pull factor for the student migrants considering Finnish high quality of research facilities, education environment, and the fee-free study system. It also marks that both personal and social networks have a strong role in migrant’s decision of choosing Finland as their destination. The role of technology becomes prominent in the current age in terms of gathering information, admission procedure, and visa processing. This is even more realised due to the absence of the Embassy operation and other official communication channels. The study finds the diaspora community’s role is increasingly becoming significant in the present context, they provide migrants with access to information, job conditions as well as settling them with finding accommodation, education places, emotional support, and comfort of belonging in a host country. Within this journey of a migrant, social media platform has appeared as a crucial part of social networks and diasporas in terms of communication. Facebook groups have become a major communication channel. Additionally, the Corona situation has made online engagement among people more visible. Nonetheless, this diaspora-social network-migration-integration nexus can play both a supportive as well as a critical role for migrants as the experience varies.
Keyword(s): Migration integration social networks diaspora community Bangladesh Finland social media student migrants

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