Communicating in flood prone areas of Semarang : A case study on the ways of communication used by students whose mobility is affected by frequent floods and new telecommunication technologies

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The city of Semarang, Indonesia, is plagued by frequent floods that have grown worse over the last few years. The main cause of these floods growing worse is land subsidence, strengthened by a small rise of the sea level. The floods bring a lot of problems and obstacles for the everyday-life of the local community, in particular the inhabitants of the lower city that are getting more and more exposed every year. A different development in Semarang as well as in the rest of Indonesia is the enormous growth of telecommunication. Over the last 10 years the number of mobile phone users has grown tremendously. The internet is also getting more popular rapidly with the social networking site Facebook ranking as the most visited website within Indonesia (Lim, 2011, p. 5). It is especially the younger generation that is pushing forward this recent revolution (Nielsen, 2011). Looking through the eyes of Hägerstrand and his time-geography theory, people always interact with time and space and encounter various obstructions in their mobility. This creates an interesting relation between the increasing problem of floods as obstructions in the physical space and the telecommunication revolution that has created a growing virtual space. The goal of this research is to find out how this interaction has influenced the mobility and used ways for communication by researching a population group that is both affected by floods and among the frontrunners of the telecommunication revolution: students, in this case; the students from the Soegijapranata Catholic University (Unika) of Semarang. Based on the research goal, the following question was deduced: How does the mobility of students in Semarang, affected by the usage of new telecommunication technologies and floods, influence their used ways of communication?
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen