The meanings of sharing: On Facebook sharing strategies among Polish migrants in Germany and the UK

Kamil Filipek 1
  • 1 Institute of Sociology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Kamil Filipek

Abstract

Sharing on social media has become a daily routine for millions of users worldwide. Sharing transforms the experience of international migration as it enables migrants to maintain social relations and adapt to a new socioeconomic environment. But what does the term “sharing” mean for migrants active on Facebook? What are the contemporary meanings of sharing encouraged by Facebook’s affordances? This paper explores individual sharing strategies on Facebook among Polish migrants in Germany and the UK. On the basis of the material collected through in-depth interviews (N=17) with Poles who have settled in Germany and the UK, it is proposed that the contemporary meaning of sharing has five dimensions: commercial, altruistic, social, connective and addictive. Different compositions of these dimensions can be found in most sharing practices on social media. Following a critique of commercial sharing on social media, it is further established that selling and other profit-driven activities are rather well recognized by the interviewees. However, some of them engage in commercial sharing with no direct selling intention. The article emphasizes that sharing practices help Polish migrants adapt to their bicultural reality in Germany and the UK

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The European Journal of Communication Research is an established forum for scholarship and academic debate in the field of communication science and research from a European perspective. Communications highlights the concerns of communication science through the publication of articles, research reports, review essays and book reviews on theoretical and methodological developments considered from a European perspective.

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