Research

Professor Caidi’s work is situated in the context of global migration and the role that information resources, institutions, and technologies play in the everyday lives of diasporic communities as well as the implications for the receiving countries. She is interested in how migrants and displaced people negotiate the multiple and overlapping local and transnational information environments they navigate, and how these processes come to embody new kinds of knowledge. Within this framework, she pursues several lines of research (briefly introduced below, with selected publications):

  • Diversity by Design: the extent to which diverse communities make use of public cultural (and memory) institutions, as well as how these institutions’ values, tools, and practices  are altered in light of the changing demographic realities.
  • Information for Social, Cultural, and Economic Inclusion: interactions and rituals that support migrants’ settlement, inclusion and contributions to Canadian society.
  • Pilgrimage in the Age of Social Media: emergent practices of young people’s expressions of spiritual and religious identities online, specifically the contemporary manifestations of the pilgrimage tradition.
  • Digital Diasporasdigital and social media uses by migrants/displaced people and the related dynamic processes of identity construction and transnational community building;

[Scroll down the page for an overview of the different research projects].

Diversity by Design: Reframing Diversity Discourse in Canada

This research seeks to expand on the meanings and values of diversity, with an eye toward reconceptualizing it as a powerful force for advancing and reshaping the information professions. Together with Dr. Keren Dali (Denver U.), we have examined the attractiveness of LIS careers to students and alumni stemming from diverse backgrounds, the diversity of LIS professions, and the significant disconnect that persists in how the goals of LIS education are seen by various stakeholders. Our 2017 article, ‘Diversity by Design’ was awarded the ALA’s 2018 David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award. We organized an international symposium on Diversity by Design on Sep 13-14, 2017 (picture below). Along with a Special Issue of IJIDI on the topic, we also have a forthcoming book that examines these issues and their relevance for LIS education and practice today.

DbD_CS_SH_NC_KD_IO

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connections Grant (Canada 150). We also thank our funding partners: Ontario Trillium Foundation, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto City Archives, Ontario Library Association, Faculty of Information, Univ. of Toronto, the McLuhan Center for Culture and Technology at the Faculty of Information, Univ. of Toronto. (Photo: speakers charles c. smith and Samra Habib; with organizers Keren Dali, Nadia Caidi, and Ikem Opara).

DbD_Book

Information for Social and Economic Inclusion: Labor Struggles of Immigrant Women in STEM

In cooperation with Saadia Muzaffar, co-founder TechGirls Canada.

Among university graduates in Canada aged 25 to 34, immigrant women are twice as likely to have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degree as Canadian-born women (23% versus 13%). Yet, immigrant women face some of the highest levels of labour market challenges in Canada across indicators, including: unemployment rate, wage gap, part-time employment, and low-income rate. We seek to document the complex gendered “work-finding” hurdles for immigrant women in STEM fields in order to begin examining the Loss on Investment (LOI) being absorbed by the Canadian economy due to this untapped talent.

Caidi_Muzaffar_GATE (Source: GATE Institute)

Funding by the Department of Women And Gender Equality (WAGE); and by the Institute of Gender + The Economy (GATE), Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

STEM_Report

Encounters of the Spiritual Kind: Young Muslims, Hajj and Social Media

This research examines the emergent practices of young people’s expressions of spiritual and religious identities online, specifically the contemporary manifestations of the pilgrimage tradition, and how information in its multiple forms (textual, spiritual, corporeal, and others) has mediated and shaped the pilgrim’s spiritual, physical, and informational journey.

img_3462 (Used with permission of creator).
  • Caidi, N., & Karim, M. (Forthcoming, 2021). “Mediated Spaces of Collective Rituals: Sacred Selfies at the Hajj.” In The Oxford Handbook of Religious Space, edited by Jeanne Halgren Kilde. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • Caidi, N. (Forthcoming). “Curating Post-Hajj Experiences: Information Practices as Community-Building Rituals.” in Narrating the Hajj, edited by M. W. Buitelaar and R. L. vanLeeuwen. TBA. (2021).
  • Caidi, N. (2020). “‘I was not willing to risk my Hajj’: Information Coping Strategies of Hajj Pilgrims.” (Special Issue on Knowledge and Ignorance in Pilgrimage). Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing.  21(1): 41-62.
  • Caidi, N. (2019). “Pilgrimage to the Hajj: An Information Journey.” The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, 3(1): 44-76. [PDF available here]. [Awarded the 2019 IJIDI Outstanding Research Article].
  • Caidi, N., Beazley, S., & Marquez, L. C. (2018). Holy Selfies: Performing pilgrimage in the age of social media. The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion2(1/2): 8-31. [Awarded the inaugural (2018) IJIDI Outstanding Research Article].
  • Caidi, N. & MacDonald, S. (2008). “Information Practices of Canadian Muslims Post 9/11” Government Information Quarterly, 25(3): 348-378.

Digital Diasporas (Selected publications)