Welcome New Americans! Investigating the role of hyper-local online communities in integration of immigrants
Hyper-local online communities
Social networking sites
Sense of belonging
The United States has a continuously growing immigrant population. A problem many of these New Americans may face is adapting to the new culture. Researchers have been investigating ways technology can play a role in supporting acculturation of the immigrant population. In this work, we studied the role of a particular class of technological support, hyper-local online communities, designed to support individuals living in the same geographical boundaries. Through a survey of a 50 immigrants from two distinct areas in the US, we investigated whether utilization of hyper-local online communities can be associated with better integration with the local community demonstrated as increase sense of belonging and satisfaction. We also investigated potential factors contributing to utilization of such platforms. We report the results of our study; highlight potential implications for design of technology for immigrants and discuss future direction of research in this area.