Nardon, L., Aten, K. 2016. “Making sense of a foreign culture through technology: Triggers, mechanisms, and introspective focus in newcomers’ blog narratives”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 54: 15-20.

Abstract

This study explored the blogs of newcomers to Canada to investigate the role of blogging in newcomers’ efforts to make sense of a foreign culture. We describe the phenomenon of sensemaking in blogging and identify triggers, mechanisms, and introspective focus of cultural sensemaking in newcomers’ blogs. Our study contributes to research on intercultural learning by supporting the argument that blogs are a promising site for intercultural studies. We also extend this discussion by demonstrating that sensemaking in and through blogging is an important phenomenon deserving study as a research subject and showing that (1) newcomers use blogs to make sense of discrepancies triggered by experiences, observation of patterns and temporal milestones, (2) newcomers make sense through self-debating, making comparisons to the home country, sequencing, and reflecting on information-gathering, and (3) bloggers focus introspection during sensemaking on their thoughts and emotions.
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Nardon, L., Aten, K., Gulanowski, D. 2015. “Expatriate Adjustment in the Digital Age: The co-creation of online social support resources through blogging”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 47: 41-55.

Abstract

Support provided through social contacts in the host environment has long been recognized as critical for expatriate adjustment. Internet technologies are changing the way individuals form and interact with social contacts and access social support. These technologies have the potential to offer expatriates new sources and means for accessing social support. We investigated the role of blogging technology in expatriates’ adjustment to foreign environments through a qualitative analysis of a set of blogs written by foreign individuals living in Canada between 2005 and 2012. We found that the blogging system, which is comprised of the blogging technology, bloggers, discussants, and co-created digital discourse, generated online adjustment support resources which were accessed by expatriates. Online adjustment support resources are social support resources, created and residing online, which may help expatriates deal with their experiences of uncertainty, ambiguity and anxiety and include information, interpretation schemas, and comfort.
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