Migration, Digital Mobilities and Diverse Communities lab is concerned with the globalised politics and experiences of (im)mobilities, and how these play out in our digitally saturated world. It aims to understand and demonstrate the diverse ways in which movement is experienced and impacts those who move, those who are left behind and receiver nation communities. It focuses the phenomenology of mobility in light of the sociopolitical and global context that is informed by current and historical relations of power. The lab is committed to social justice by surfacing patterns of power and privilege that maintain the status quo and to understanding the evolving and developing nature of diversity and social relations caused by the movements of people. By engaging with and working alongside communities, the lab aims to contribute to knowledge production, influence public discourses on diversity and the social policy landscape. The lab contributes to RMIT’s Social Change Enabling Capabilities Platform. This lab brings together scholarship focused on the physical life-digital environment nexus. The lab offers a platform for scholars with a shared interest and expertise on the experiences, the process and impact of migration to share and foster research using digital methods.

Migration, Digital Mobilities and Diverse Communities lab is focused on the following themes:

  • Social cohesion and diversity
  • Tourism and Consumerism
  • Cultural politics of labour
  • International education and global flows
  • Politics of religion
  • Mobility of social capital
  • Community making and social relations



Projects (Current)

Catherine Gomes – Media and transient migrants in Australia and Singapore: mapping identities and networks. Funded by: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher. Website: http://translatingimpermanence.org/

Catherine Gomes – Mapping the Social Networks of international students: Foundations of improved communication with international students. Funded by IDP Education

Jolynna Sinanan – Locating the Mobile: Intergenerational Locative Media Practices in Tokyo, Melbourne and Shanghai. Funded by an ARC Linkage Grant and Intel.

Jolynna Sinanan – Global Social Media Impact Study, University College London. Funded by the European Research Council.

Projects (Past)

Mobiles, Money and Migration on the Border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (Heather Horst) – on website http://www.digital-ethnography.net/projects/#Mobile,%20Migrants%20and%20Money

The Gender of Money (Heather Horst & Supriya Singh) – on website http://www.digital-ethnography.net/projects/

Webcam (Daniel Miller +Jolynna Sinanan) – on website http://www.digital-ethnography.net/projects/

Complex, Clever, Cool (Sarah Pink) on web site – included research with Indonesian student migrants to Melbourne  website http://www.digital-ethnography.net/projects/

Mapping Social Networks of International Students: Foundations for Improving Communications. Administered by The University of Melbourne (with Melbourne University). Funded by Universities Australia (Catherine Gomes)

PhD Research

Jen Anayo – Celebrating Niuean Identity in a Digital Age; a Small Island Developing State, and a Transnational Social Field (partially supported by ARC Linkage and ABC International Development)

Lucy Chen – The Impact of Life Changes on Young Adults’ Social Media Practices: An Ethnographic Study of Young Chinese Adults Living in Australia(China Scholarship Council)

Tammy Law – Away From Home: A visual research project exploring the idea of home and mobility through the transnational lives of families from Burma (Australian Postgraduate Award)

Joshua Wong Media, Mobility and International Student Well-Being (Young and Well CRC)

Key Publications

Alzougool, Basil, Shanton Chang, Catherine Gomes and Marsha Berry (2013) “Finding their Way Around: International Students’ Use of Information Sources,” Journal of Advanced Management Science, Vol. 1 No. 1, March, 43-49, http://www.joams.com/uploadfile/2013/0130/20130130105513573.pdf.

Costa, Elisabetta, Haynes, Nell, Miller, Daniel, McDonald, Tom, Sinanan, Nicolescu, Razvan, Jolynna, Spyer, Juliano, Venkatraman, Shriram and Wang, Xin Yuan (2016) How the World Changed Social Media, UCL Press: London.

Gomes, Catherine (2016) Transient Mobility and Middle Class Identity: Media and Migration in Australia and Singapore, Palgrave Macmillan.

Gomes, Catherine (ed.) (2016) The Asia-Pacific in the Age of Transnational Mobility: The Search for Community and Identity on and through Social Media,London, New York & Delhi: Anthem Press.

Gomes, Catherine, Olivia Guntarik & Susan Leong (eds.) (2015) “Transient Migrants: Identities, Social Networks and Social Media,” Crossings: A Journal of Migration and Culture, Vol 6, Iss 1, http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=2831/

Gomes, Catherine (ed.), (2013) Imagining Asia: Perspectives on the Creative Industry’s Documentation and Interpretation of Asia, Special Issue, Creative Industries Journal, Vol 6, Iss. 1, http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Issue,id=2474/.

Gomes. Catherine, (2016) “Not Quite Fitting In: Asian International Students in Singapore”, in International Student Mobility, Services, and Policy in Higher Education, Krishna Bista and Charlotte Foster (eds), Pennsylvania: IGI Global.

Gomes, Catherine, (2016) “Liking It, Not Loving It: International Students in Singapore and their Navigation of Everyday Life In Transience,” The Asia-Pacific in the Age of Transnational Mobility: The Search for Community and Identity on and through Social Media (ed. Catherine Gomes), London, New York & Delhi: Anthem Press.

Gomes, Catherine and Jonathan Tan (2015) “Christianity as a Culture of Mobility: A Case Study of Asian Transient Migrants in Singapore”, Kritika Kultura: A Refereed Electronic Journal of Literary/Cultural and Language Studies, no. 25, http://journals.ateneo.edu/ojs/index.php/kk/article/view/KK2015.02512.

Gomes, Catherine (2014) “Negotiating everyday life in Australia: unpacking the parallel society inhabited by Asian international students through their social networks and entertainment media use,” Journal of Youth Studies, published online 24 December, http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/I4q78jC8HHctYrXBwSrQ/full

Gomes, Catherine (2015)  “Where to Next after Graduation?: International Students in Australia and their Aspirations for Transnational Mobility,” Special Edition, Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture, Vol 6, Iss 1, 41-58.

Gomes, Catherine, Marsha Berry, Basil Alzougool and Shanton Chang (2014)“Home Away From Home: International Students and Their Identity-Based Social Networks In Australia,” Journal of International Students, Vol 4, Iss. 1, https://jistudents.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/1-home-away-home.pdf.

Gomes. Catherine (2014) “Xenophobia Online: Unmasking Singaporean Attitudes Towards ‘Foreign Talent’ Migrants,” Asian Ethnicities, Vol 15, Iss 1 first published 8 April 2013, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14631369.2013.784511.

Horst, Heather A and Erin Taylor. (2014). The role of mobile phones in the mediation of border crossings: A study of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.The Australian Journal of Anthropology (TAJA) 25(2):155-170

Horst, Heather A. (2012) Grandmothers, Girlfriends and Big Men: The Gendered Geographies of Jamaican Transnational Communication. In Leopoldina Fortunati, Raul Pertierra and Jane Vincent’s (eds) Migration, Diaspora and Information Technology in Global Societies.London: Routledge. ISBN:0415887097

Horst, Heather A. (2011). Reclaiming Place: The Architecture of Home, Family and Migration. Anthropologica: Journal of the Canadian Anthropological Society53(1):29-39

Horst, Heather A. (2010) Keeping the Link: ICTs and Jamaican Migration. In Pedro J. Oiarzabal’s (ed) Reading Digital Diasporas: Spaces of Identity, Politics, and Technology. Reno: University of Nevada Press. ISBN:0874178150

Horst, Heather A. (2007) ‘You can’t be two places at once’: Rethinking Transnationalism through Return Migration in Jamaica. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 14 (1): 63-83

Horst, Heather A. (2006) The Blessings and Burdens of Communication: The Cell Phone in Jamaican Transnational Social Fields. Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs 6(2):143-159

Miller, Daniel and Jolynna Sinanan (2014). Webcam, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Miller, Daniel and Jolynna Sinanan (2016) Visualising Facebook, UCL Press: London.

Panagakos, Anastasia N. and Heather A. Horst (2006) Return to Cyberia: Technology and the Social Worlds of Transnational Migrants. Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs 6(2): 109-124

Rizwangul, R. Heather Horst, Evangelia Papoutsaki and Giles Dodson. (Published Online 2015, Print Version Forthcoming). Uyghur Transnational Identity on Facebook: On the Development of a Young Diaspora. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2015.1024126

Sinanan, Jolynna (2016) Social Media in Trinidad, UCL Press: London.

Sinanan, Jolynna (2016) ‘Xin Yimin’: “new Chinese migration and new media in a Trinidadian town’ in Sun, Wanning and John Sinclair (eds). Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism. Routledge: London and New York.

Singh, Supriya (2016) Money, Migration and Family: India to Australia, New York: Palrave Macmillan.

Singh, Supriya (forthcoming). Financial Inclusion as Practice: Microfinance and Mobile Money in International Development: An Inquiry into Global Development Practice,edited by Paul Battersby, Robbie Guevara and Ravi Roy, Sage.UK.

Singh, S., Nadarajah, Y., Mulligan, M. and Chamberlain, C. (Eds) (2015).Searching for Community: Melbourne to Delhi, Manohar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi

Singh, S. (2015). Transnational community and money in the Indian disapora in MelbourneIn: Searching for Community: Melbourne to Delhi, Manohar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi

Nadarajah, Y.,Mulligan, M.,Singh, S.,Chamberlain, C. (2015). Introduction In:Searching for Community: Melbourne to Delhi, Manohar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi

Singh, S. (2015, January 2015). Beyond the dichotomy: Money and the transnational family in India and Australia. WORKING PAPER SERIES – From Economic to Social Remittances:an International Overview -TSI WORKING PAPER NO 5 / JANUARY 2015.  Retrieved 28 September, 2015, from seminars.wcfia.harvard.edu/files/tsi/…/5-singh2015_tsiworkingpaper.pdf

Singh, S.,Cabraal, A. (2014). ‘Boomerang remittances’ and the circulation of care: A study of indian transnational families in Australia In: Transnational families, migration and the circulation of care: Understanding mobility and absence in family life, Routledge, New York

Fang, J.,Russell, R.,Singh, S. (2014). Exploring the impact of mobile money services on marketing interactions in relation to consumer well-being in subsistence marketplace – Lessons from rural Cambodia In: Journal of Marketing Management, 30, 445 – 475

Singh, S.,Gatina, L. (2014). Money flows two ways between transnational families in Australia and India In: South Asian Diaspora, 7, 33 – 37

Singh, S. (2013). Globalization and money: A global south perspective, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland

Tran, Ly and Catherine Gomes (eds.) (2016) International Student Connectedness and Identity: Transnational and Trans-disciplinary Perspectives, Springer.


Gomes, Catherine (interview), “Narrow mix of friends among international students,” The Australian, 14 October 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/narrow-mix-of-friends-among-international-students/story-e6frgcjx-1227567920179

Gomes, Catherine (interview), “Melbourne’s real estate market is gearing up for a big day on Saturday, 8/8,” Channel 10 Eyewitness News, 5 pm, 7 August 2015, http://tenplay.com.au/news/melbourne/2015/8/7/real-estate-market-gearing-up

Gomes, Catherine (quoted), “CISA Conference 2015 Day 2: Improvement of student experience under spotlight,” written by Allan Tanoemarga, Meld Magazine, 8 July 2015, http://www.meldmagazine.com.au/2015/07/cisa-conference-2015-day-2/

Gomes. Catherine, “Interview with Dr Catherine Gomes, RMIT who discusses what it means to belong a minority group,” Reporting LIVE with Stan Grant, Sky News, 6 pm, 17 June 2015. Aired on 9 other outlets.

Gomes, Catherine (quoted), “Premium put on learning Down Under,” written by Karl Wilson, China Daily Asia, 22 May 2015,http://www.chinadailyasia.com/asiaweekly/2015-05/22/content_15268008.html

Ly Tran and Gomes. Catherine, “Stereotyping international students is unjust”, Australian Association for Research in Education Blog, http://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=1028, 8 May 2015. Republished from University World News.

Gomes. Catherine, “International students report stressed its importance value rather than how to deal with student diversity” (translation of article into Chinese), Oursteps.com.au, 3 April 2015,http://www.oursteps.com.au/bbs/portal.php?mod=article&aid=1040996. Republished from The Conversation.

Gomes. Catherine with Jonathan Tan, Fenggang Yang, Sebastian Kim, Joseph Goh, Fernando Montano, David Tse and Samuel Djunaedi, “Christians in Asia”, produced by Masako Fukui, ABC Radio National Encounter, Saturday 29 September 2014, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/encounter/christians-of-asia/5916176

Gomes. Catherine, “The labour pains of our overseas peers”, written by Alexander Darling, Catalyst 70 (6), pp. 10-12.

Gomes. Catherine. “Why international students need to make Aussie friends”, 2SER Breakfast Radio (Sydney), Monday 8 September 2045. (http://www.2ser.com/component/k2/item/10948-international-students-struggle-to-make-friends)

Gomes. Catherine. “Media and Racism”, Panorama – SYN Radio. Friday 15 August 2014.

Gomes. Catherine. “International student numbers growing again in Australia”. Pacific Beat – ABC Radio. Thursday 31 July 2014. (http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/international-student-numbers-growing-again-in-australia/1350452).

Singh, S. (2014, 21 November). Bankers are about to ensure money transfers go underground. The Conversation.

Singh, S., & Koker, L. d. (2015, October 8). Real lives, real risk: threats to small money remitters hit African families, The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/real-lives-real-risk-threats-to-small-money-remitters-hit-african-families-48315

Sinanan, Jolynna, “When taking Selfies in Trinidad, it’s what’s on the outside that matters”. The Guardian. Thursday 11 September, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/11/when-taking-selfies-in-trinidad-its-whats-on-the-outside-that-matters

Mejía, Glenda. “Language usage and culture maintenance: a study of Spanish-speaking immigrant mothers in Australia.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development ahead-of-print (2015): 1-17.

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