Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Commentary | Open Access

Social Navigation and the Refugee Crisis: Traversing “Archipelagos” of Uncertainty

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Abstract:  This reflection considers the thematic issue “Refugee Crises Disclosed: Intersections between Media, Communication and Forced Migration Processes” through the lens of social navigation which takes into account the fluidity and uncertainty of the refugee and forced migrant condition whether in flight, emplaced, or at a temporary stopping point. Refugees who are able to “read” their social environment will be more successful in developing practices to navigate through unpredictable migration processes, including responding to information uncertainty. Yet even as some of the displaced adapt, other actors—particularly those part of the refugee regime—are also operating in unstable conditions such that the actions of refugees/forced migrants may in turn keep the circumstances of those purporting to help also in flux.

Keywords:  belonging; digital environment; information precarity; migrant; refugee; social navigation; uncertainty



© Melissa Wall. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.