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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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

Kamil Filipek
Published Online: 2019-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-2031


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

Keywords: Facebook; sharing; migrants

Support for this research was provided by the National Science Centre (NCN), Poland, through Grant No. 2014/12/S/HS6/00390.

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About the article

Published Online: 2019-03-27

Citation Information: Communications, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-2031.

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