Communication major Lauren Cooper ’16 and communication professor Hesham Mesbah recently co-authored a study in the Multidisciplinary Issues Surrounding African Diasporans journal published by IGI Global.
The study explores how the Nigerian, Ethiopian, and Egyptian diasporans in the United States use their Facebook groups to create their imagined communities. It also draws a parallel between their use of Facebook and how the U.S. embassies of their countries of origin use the same platform in performing their official duties. The findings expose the disconnect between the two groups and seek to ensure that government agencies uphold their primary role of serving as a home base for immigrants abroad.
Cooper—whose mother is an African diasporan who migrated to the U.S. from the Seychelles and whose grandfather served as the nation’s founding president—is passionate about seeing immigrants served, not stigmatized. This study aims to hold government agencies accountable and to bridge the gap between the needs of the immigrant communities and the agencies charged with helping them thrive.