The role of internet-based social support network in immigrant settlement
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 07:00 authored by Julie Xiaoping Lin
This is an exploratory study on the roles that internet-based social networks play in supporting immigrants in their settlement process, using NewBridger as an example. This research finds that online social networks are able to provide informational, socio-emotional, and some material and instrumental support to immigrants that help meet their settlement needs. Information passed through NewBridger helps immigrants with employment, housing, education and training, leisure, and daily living related issues. Socio-emotional support helps reduce acculturative stress by fostering a sense of belonging and friendship, and by exchanging expressions of love, care and encouragement. Support for immigrants also takes the form of social capital building. This study concludes that online social support networks are valuable supplement to formal support networks consisting of the government and the non-profit sector. This study builds on the theoretical frameworks of social support, social capital and acculturative stress.