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Special Project on COVID-19

Communication during and after COVID-19: (re)producing social inequalities and/or opportunities among African migrants in the United Arab Emirates and China

Members of the Project

  • Tu Huynh, Jinan University Guangzhou (Principal Investigator)
  • Jonathan Ngeh, University of Cologne (Principal Investigator)
  • Michaela Pelican, University of Cologne (Principal Investigator)

The key questions in this proposed research are: How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect the production and reproduction of social inequalities as well as the emergence of opportunities for especially vulnerable migrants? And which role does communication play in this context? These questions will be studied in relation to the experiences of African migrants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in China. In addition to showing the pandemic’s differential socio-economic impact on different populations in society, the findings will reveal how solidarity at the grassroots level underlies successful mitigation of this crisis in at-risk-communities. The main impact of the study will lie in translating the findings into practical suggestions on how to improve communication with and within vulnerable migrant communities so as to strengthen their resilience in view of the ongoing pandemic and future crises.

This project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation as part of their initiative "Corona Crisis and Beyond – Perspectives for Science, Scholarship and Society".