The IMISCOE Standing Committee “Methodological Approaches and Tools in Migration Research” (Meth@Mig) has launched a new series of online interviews which will identify and reflect on the promises and pitfalls of the digital revolution for migration studies. This series will take different methodological currents into consideration, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Sample questions include: What is the future of traditional survey research? Is Big Data capable of generating scientifically sound knowledge? Is there a digital substitute for “old-school” ethnographic fieldwork? Can internet-mediated interviews and focus groups take the place of face-to-face research?
Through the series entitled “Digitization of Migration Research Methods: Promises and Pitfalls” we hope to initiate a constructive debate of the potential new data sources and methods hold for migration research as well as of their limitations and associated challenges.
In the first episode of this series, I talk to Marzia Rango. Marzia works as Research and Data Officer at the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) of the International Organization for Migration in Berlin (Germany). She is a leading expert in the use of ‘big data’ in migration research. Among many other interesting points raised by her in our conversation, Marzia specifies various migration-related topics on which ‘new’ data sources and related methods might shed light. She, furthermore, warns against the emergence of a divide between theory development and empirical evidence, encourages broader scientific collaboration between academia and the private sector, and elaborates on her assessment that new and ‘traditional’ data should supplement each other instead of being seen as competing.
The full video is available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/SemJp_4kC4E