Digital Narratives. Gender, Immigration and Religion on the Move

Digital Narratives. Gender, Immigration and Religion on the Move” is a co-sponsored WACC project led by the Blanquerna Observatory on Media, Religion and Culture which seeks to understand why there is a lack of social contribution by female religious leaders and minority faithful in a traditionally Catholic location like Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. To this end, it’s important to note that, as is the case in many European countries, secularism is on the rise and currently only 52.4% of all Catalans consider themselves Catholic.

The program consisted of a 6-month-long project in which women from different Christian denomination, Hare Krishna and Muslim communities explained their relationships with new technologies: their fears, desires, skills, advocacy… Through this presence (active, absent, militant, in the shadows…), we have discovered the face of immigrant religious women in an urban space in the diaspora. They all live in the old part of the city and face several problems related to marginalization and social exclusion. In fact, 39% of the population in this area are immigrants according to the latest statistics. Pakistani, Philippine and Moroccan are the main nationalities found in the old part of the city.

These religious women have been identified as prospective key resources in their communities when it comes to breaking down digital barriers and constructing new forms of dialogue in the city through their narratives. They use technology mainly to relate to their families; in other words, to be connected with the private sphere of life.

The project seeks to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships (with women as the key figures) involving audiences of different ages and from different religious backgrounds.  Such a scenario is very much needed since there is currently no network which unites these characteristics: women-immigration-religion-digital-participation. The greatness of every type of background as well as the difficulties arising from cultural practices are two key issues that our Project aimed to address.  By asking women to tell their stories, we wanted to measure how significant their online presence is to spreading awareness for their concerns. This was measured by collecting the data shown in the Infographics section of this website.

Familiarity with Technology

The main task involved with this Project was a survey on Technological technology uses. The aim of the survey is was to understand the degree ofthe extent to which immigrant religious women are familiarity with new technology that immigrant religious women have. Their responses to questions about their relationships with the different devices and tools allowed us to develop a first report about on their loss lowof social visibility due to their lack of expertise in the use ofusing technology.
Characteristics such as lack the non-possession of a smartphone in the case of 34% of immigrant women and no Twitter presence for 95% of them have a direct effect , bear directly on their presence in cyberspace as well as in their lived life experiences. Their invisibility is also due to the inadequate visibility online and in their social environments. Our research shows low levels of social engagement, high levels of connection with the mother country connections and a poor knowledge of the local culture and language that which makes integration difficult and intercultural dialogue as welldifficult.
The dData was were collected through interviews in migrant communities, a survey and face-to-face video interviews which are available in the Video and Flickr Section section of this Websitewebsite.
Digital narrativesNarratives. Gender, Immigration and Religion on the Move
 is a project that was implemented in 2015 by the Blanquerna Observatory on Media Religion and Culture in Barcelona together in conjunction with the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) and which was co-financed by the Otto per Mille Valdesian Church in Italy.
They Veryare very different kinds types of empowerment associated with the Internet exist. The realm of networking is fascinating and key if we arewhen looking at continuities in feminist politics in these cybertimesthe Internet era. And access has become, with access becoming a key political term in relation to the Internet (Young, 2004). And Moreover, Ffeminist studies of technology have emphasized that, in addition to gender structures, gender symbolism is important insignificant as concerns male dominance in technology  making technologies a male domain (Rommes et al, 2001).

Our survey
We interviewed 228 women linked to some of the religious organizations present in our District district in Raval in the Old Cityold part of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Among women, 40%Forty percent of the women live in Old Citythe old part of the city with, the remaining 53% live living elsewhere in Barcelona and Catalonia; however,a but they work or have found in the citythe membership services they need in the city.
First, we tried to contact with religious organizations in the old part of the city. Often the contactThis contact was often complicated by problems with the schedulescheduling problems and even some distrust for the object purpose of research. In this senseThus, it was necessary to personally visit go to each of the organizations and make pedagogyeducate them on about the reasons of behind the investigationstudy. None of the organizations wanted that a member of theanyone from the University take charge ofto be responsible for the questionnaires. They preferred to answer provide their answers themselves in their own meeting spaces. Another important aspect is was thatthat the religious o organizations have contributed moreresultsmore results in quantitative terms are than those that which work with women to develop social integration programs with womenprograms. The questionnaire was integrated as an activity ofinto their Spanish lessons. The fact that the questionnaire was answered in such a context Iin a neighborhood where the immigrant population is so significant and where there is a gap of integration ofan integration gap among immigrant women, it is was a very positive aspect that the questionnaire was answered in this context. This ensures ensured success in as far as their understandingtheunderstanding of the questions.
43% of the women surveyed are are between 30 and 49 years old:.  50% are married,  and followed by 34% who are single.  79% of the women who participated in the survey are mothers,  19 19% of the surveyed women are housewives and 12% work as household helpengaged in domestic service.
6% of the women surveyed do not have studiesnever went to school and 15% have completed only their primary education while 31% of the women have during completed a secondary education program or the equivalent.

How Women use Internet

Perhaps not surprisingly, 74% of the women have Internet at home with the vast majority connecting
24% do not have Internet at home.
2% they say they do not know if they have internet at home.
21% use a call box.
66% say they do not use them.
12% say they do not know if they use them.

When using the Internet,they do general information searches, check e-mail and communicate with others. However, the use of social media is not consistent. They also use Skype to communicate with others.
As concerns social media, 124 of the 228 interviewed they said they have a Facebook profile, whereas 67% of women did not understand the question on whether or not they have an app
53% of the women use the Internet to communicate with their relatives once a week or more.

Almost half of the women interviewed (48%) use their real names in social media. Yet, 15% acknowledge using pseudonyms. Just over a third (36%) didn’t understand the question that was asked about it.

A total of 104 participants in this research, which represents 32%, said that they talk with their family through 2.0 media; 85 more (26%) speak with other people in their country of origin and 15 (14%), with partners who are not from their country of origin. As was the case in the previous category, 90 women (28%) didn’t understand the significance of this issue.

Family pictures on Internet

As for pictures posted on social platforms, a quarter are photographs of their family and another quarter, pictures of themselves. 15% of the images are portraits of their friends. 9% of those interviewed said that they share other kinds of material. And the remaining 26% didn’t give any information about this.

75% of the women have met people of other religions through these media. However, 4 out of 10 participants said they only interact with people of the same religion.

Regarding their perception of social media, a third of the women believe they are “surprising”. 22% think it is a gateway to meeting One in ten interviewed showed some fear of these media. In contrast, 6% believe it is a good way to express themselves.

One in three participants in the research believe they are active in these environments. On the other hand, 7% of those interviewed consider themselves to be One-fifth occupy an intermediate position and 42% didn’t specify any details in this section.

10% of them claim they have a website. Half responded negatively to this question. The rest didn’t answer this question clearly. As to the creation and management of blogs, 15 women indicated that they are authors of a blog; 123 replied that they don’t write a blog.

Smartphones

29% of the women surveyed use their phones to make calls and send SMS messages and 24% of the women surveyed use a mobile phone (smartphone) to make calls, check email and connect to the 12% of the women surveyed use their mobile phones only for calls
The vast majority of the women (143) do not own any type of tablet device.
33% of the women surveyed use their phones in different languages. 31% of the women surveyed use the phone in their mother tongue whereas 4% use their phones in Catalan and 21% use Spanish.

33% of the women surveyed use the Internet to communicate with relatives once a week, 20% of the women surveyed use it more than once a week and 32% of the women surveyed never use the Internet to communicate with others. The rest of the women surveyed (15%) do not know.

The vast majority of the women (201) have got their own mobile phone.
56% of the women surveyed have got a mobile phone with Internet (smartphone).

29% of the women surveyed have a tablet device while 62% have no tablet device.

36% of the women surveyed think that the media ignore religious women whereas 19% do not believe this.
36% of the women surveyed think that the media are concerned about immigrant women issues in Barcelona whereas 18% do not.

39% said the media have a positive image of immigrant women

39% of the women surveyed said the media have a positive view of immigrant women and 15% of the women surveyed do not agree. 46% did not report this information.

36% of the women surveyed said they can express themselves better online whereas 30% of the women surveyed do not agree with this statement. 34% did not report this information.

59% of the women surveyed think they need more knowledge of technologies; 11% of the women surveyed do not and the rest of the women surveyed (29%) do not know.

31% of the women surveyed said they have enough knowledge of technology; 31% of the women surveyed don’t agree and 38% did not report this information.

28% of the women surveyed don’t think they need training in technology while 38% of the women surveyed do. The rest of the women surveyed don’t know.

The vast majority of the women have got their own mobile phones (201 women; in other words, 88%). 14 women said no to this question, which represents only 6%. When asked the question “Is your mobile a smartphone?”, 127 of them said yes (56%) and 79 of them said no (34%).