Koen naar conferentie in Boston; Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mind the Gap! Migrant Youth Online and the ‘Internetworked’ Experiences of Transition.

Intensified patterns of migration and advanced forms of digital technology are reconfiguring the interface between the local and the global. Migrant youth are a privileged site to study these interactions as they also negotiate between different generations and national belongings while creating alternative modalities for self-expression. Our analysis will focus on how these negotiations among multiple axes of belonging and creative self positioning takes place online as the internet is considered to be a place of virtual connectivity beyond physical and political borders and of liberation from markers of otherness, such as race, ethnicity, gender, which are particularly relevant in defining the migrant condition. Drawing on empirical survey and interview findings from our Utrecht University research project Wired Up , we make a plea to approach conjunctures of transition of digital media and immigration from a postcolonial and intersectional perspective. A focus on intersectional socio-cultural configurations of subordination and empowerment enables us to ask ‘the other question’ (Matsuda, 1991: 1189), highlighting how various hidden axes of differentiation – such as diaspora, adolescence, gender, generation, and religion – may impact differently upon the (digitally mediated) lives and identities of immigrant youth.

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