Acculturation research has explored the relation between orientation of migrants towards home and host cultures and predicted their adaption to the host society in different domains of life. Migrants’ mobile phone communication with friends’ networks in the host country as well as to family and relatives in the home culture has been supportive in the adaptation process. We investigated whether migrants adapted differentially to life and work domains, and probed further into the reasons behind it. Data from survey questionnaire (n=519) were analysed to test the relationships between: (i) acculturation (parsed as ‘cultural identification’ and ‘multiculturalism’); (ii) mobile communication to home and host cultures; and, (iii) adaptation outcomes – indicated by life satisfaction and organizational commitment. Results showed that multiculturalism positively affected life satisfaction and organizational commitment, while cultural identity positively affected only organizational commitment. Mobile communication to other cultures positively affected organizational commitment, whereas calling to home culture did not affect either life satisfaction or organizational commitment. We suggest the host society to actively interact with the labor migrants in order that the actual potential of mobile phones as bridge between cultural divides can be actualized. The research advances scholarship in acculturation by incorporating culturally-salient mobile phone communication into the theoretical schema.
Aricat, Rajiv George and Chib, Arul, "Social Integration of Male Migrant Workers in Singapore: The Enabling and Constraining Roles of Mobile Phones" (2014). GlobDev 2014. 9.