We found an interesting study on the topic of migration in the UK with the results of research carried out at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. They focused on Slovak virtual communities and their functioning in the UK.
The content analysis shows that the Facebook page “Czechs and Slovaks in the UK” is mainly used to share emotional content (“most liked” are romantic photos of English landscapes), and only to a smaller extent to build a community or share practical information (accommodation, work , information on various events). In addition, the site targets a wide audience across the UK and is dominated by shared, not original, content. It is therefore questionable what its community-building potential is.
Questionnaire data show that while Skype and Facebook are mainly used to maintain already strong social ties in Slovakia, personal contact and mobile phones are mainly used to build and maintain social capital in Britain. Participants also reported a relatively strong degree of connecting social capital, which is based primarily (but not exclusively) on contacts with other Slovak migrants.
However, the new media do not facilitate the building of this social capital before migration itself, but personal contact dominates only after coming to Britain. More than 90% of the participants stated that they did not know any Slovak migrant organizations in Britain, and only about a third of them had participated in events organized by the Slovak community in the past.
While some participants assume that, thanks to the new media, Slovak migrants are more networked than in the past, others think that there are different categories of migrants with different expectations of living in Britain, different social capital building needs and thus different levels of involvement in community life. and varying degrees of interest in web content, dedicated specifically to Slovaks in Britain. Students have been repeatedly identified as a specific category that does not search for its social networks on the basis of shared ethnicity.
The researchers found that research participants in the United Kingdom had little information about community activities carried out by Slovak migrant organizations, and they learned about them predominantly through new media.
Virtuálne komunity? Niekoľko príkladov z off/online aktivít Slovákov a Sloveniek v Írsku a vo Veľkej Británii. Barbara Lášticová, Magda Petrjánošová. Ústav výskumu sociálnej komunikácie SA Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268816515_Virtualne_komunity_Niekolko_prikladov_z_offonline_aktivit_Slovakov_a_Sloveniek_v_Irsku_a_vo_Velkej_Britanii_Virtual_communities_Some_insights_into_the_activities_of_Slovak_migrants_in_the_Republic_of_ [accessed Jun 28 2021].