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Living digitally like a migrant: Everyday smartphone practices and the (Re)mediation of hostile state-affects

Morgan, Hannah

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Over the last decade, geographical research has documented how digital technologies are changing experiences of (im)mobility into and within Europe. For irregular migrants in the European context, the smartphone has become a vital digital tool for mediating everyday experiences of hostile environments that have become characteristic of mobility landscapes. Building upon novel work in Social Media and Media studies, which explores the entanglements between smartphones and mobility, this paper aims to bring forward a geographical research agenda that centres everyday smartphone practices as a central object of inquiry in work on irregular migration and broader work around everyday life: specifically in the context in which hostility has become one of the main affective experiences of mobility governance throughout Western Europe. Introducing the concept of living (digitally) like a migrant, this paper highlights how we can no longer conceptualise irregular ‘migrant life’ without consideration of the way in which life, in a biopolitical sense, is productive of and enmeshed within, everyday digital practices. This paper thus offers an agenda for geographic research concerned with forms of the everyday: demanding we can no longer conceptualise the everyday, nor experiences of irregular migration, without serious consideration of the digital – specifically of everyday smartphone practices. We must, therefore, take seriously the forms of digital agency or experience that (re)mediate encounters with state-administered hostility, whilst remaining open to the affirmative forms of living or flourishing that may emerge through everyday engagement with the digital.


Morgan, H. (in press). Living digitally like a migrant: Everyday smartphone practices and the (Re)mediation of hostile state-affects. Progress in Human Geography,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 20, 2023
Online Publication Date May 10, 2023
Deposit Date May 16, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 16, 2023
Journal Progress in Human Geography
Print ISSN 0309-1325
Electronic ISSN 1477-0288
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed


Published Journal Article (629 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

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