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Digital makings of the cosmopolitan city? Young people’s urban imaginaries of London

Leurs, Koen and Georgiou, Myria ORCID: 0000-0001-8771-8469 (2016) Digital makings of the cosmopolitan city? Young people’s urban imaginaries of London. International Journal of Communication, 10. pp. 3689-3709. ISSN 1932-8036

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This article focuses on young Londoners’ everyday digital connectedness in the global city and examines the urban imaginaries these connections generate and regulate. Young people engage with a range of mobilities, networks, and technologies in trying to find their place in a city, which is only selectively hospitable to them. Offline and online connections also shape urban imaginaries that direct moral and practical positioning toward others living close by and at a distance. We draw from a two-year study with 84 young people of different class and racial backgrounds living in three London neighborhoods. The study reveals the divergence of youth’s urban imaginaries that result from uneven access to material and symbolic resources in the city. However, it also reveals the convergence of urban imaginaries, resulting especially from widespread practices of diversified connectedness. More often than not, young participants reveal a cosmopolitan orientation and a positive disposition toward difference. Cosmopolitanism becomes a common discursive tool urban youth mobilize, but differentially appropriate, to narrate and regulate belonging in an interconnected world and an unequal city.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY-NC-ND
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2016 16:08
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:34
Projects: 332318
Funders: Seventh Framework Programme

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