Crossing Social and Spatial Borders as an Everyday Life: Big Data to Reveal Transnational People, Their Mobilities and Spaces

In the age of globalization, increasing flows of cross-border mobilities represent a key manifestation of transnationalism – one of the central concept and theory for understanding socio-spatial processes and phenomena transcending nation state borders. Socio-spatial interactions such as transnational human mobilities and social engagement are the centerpiece of forming and transforming existing political, economic, cultural, religious, and social spaces and boundaries, and identities.

As our global network society is about constant mobilities of everything that transcends nation-state borders, cross-border interactions and integration is a key issue towards balanced and sustainable socio-spatial cohesion, especially within the EU. However, not much is known about the rapidly increasing cross-border daily mobilities which is one underlying force to the transforming of new functional transnational spaces.

An intriguing novel big data approach could potentially provide invaluable insights for transnational research and practice. Thus, this project aims to seek in practice how big data sources such as mobile phone positioning and social media posts could be applied to contribute to research on transnational social-spatial interactions and provide evidence-based knowledge to better cope with changes in society that it produces.

This four-year project is funded by the Kone Foundation.



Following people are involved:

Olle Järv (Project leader, post-doctoral researcher)

Kerli Müürisepp (MSc, research assistant)