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Unpublished Paper
The Use of Social Media as a Tool for Collaborative Research on the U.S.-Mexico Border
  • Jeremy Slack
  • Scott Whiteford, University of Arizona
  • Sonia Bass
  • Alison Lee

This paper examines the use of social media in a large bi-national research project. The ongoing project includes a detailed survey of recently deported undocumented migrants in six Mexican cities. We discuss some of the challenges and successes of complex research and data management, including sampling strategies, shared methodological decision-making, coordinating sub-projects and student theses, and dealing with the ever-present challenge of drug-related violence at our field sites. This project is linked to a second ongoing project on migrant-sending communities in Puebla. After discussing the use of technology as a tool for collaborative research, we transition into a discussion of how social media is being used to challenge traditional academic outlets for our work. This involves presenting and disseminating our results in ways that contribute to a greater understanding of the social justice issues in our work, and hopefully work toward change. We then open a discussion of activist research and our desire to contribute to the field by problematizing notions of groups in collective struggle and static-bounded communities. We hope that our work with social networking and research provides a case study that explores the added benefits of communication technologies.

  • collaborative research,
  • U.S. Mexico Border,
  • social media
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jeremy Slack, Scott Whiteford, Sonia Bass and Alison Lee. "The Use of Social Media as a Tool for Collaborative Research on the U.S.-Mexico Border" (2012)
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