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Young connected migrants and non-normative European family life: exploring affective human rightclaims of young e-diasporas

Leurs, Koen (2016) Young connected migrants and non-normative European family life: exploring affective human rightclaims of young e-diasporas. International Journal of E-Politics, 7 (3). pp. 15-34. ISSN 1947-9131

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Identification Number: 10.4018/IJEP.2016070102


In the face of the contemporary so-called “European refugee crisis,”’ the dichotomies of bodies that are naturalized into technology usage and the bodies that remain alienated from it betray the geographic, racial, and gendered discriminations that digital technologies, despite their claims at neutrality and flatness, continue to espouse. This article argues that “young electronic diasporas” (ye-diasporas) (Donà, 2014) present us with an unique view on how Europe is reimagined from below, as people stake out a living across geographies. The main premise is that young connected migrants’ crossborder practices shows they ‘do family’ in a way that does not align with the universal European, normative expectations of European family life. The author draws on three symptomatic accounts of young connected migrants that are variably situated geo-politically: 1) Moroccan-Dutch youth in the Netherlands; 2) stranded Somalis awaiting family reunification in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and, 3) working, middle, and upper-class young people of various ethnic and class backgrounds living in London. Narratives shared by members of all three groups indicate meta-categories of the ‘migrant,’ ‘user,’ and ‘e-diaspora’ urgently need to be de-flattened. To do this de-flattening work, new links between migrant studies, feminist and postcolonial theory and digital cultures are forged. In an era of increasing digital connectivity and mobility, transnational families are far from deterritorialized – boundaries and insurmountable distances are often forcibly and painfully felt.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 IGI Global
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 15:39
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:20
Projects: 332318, 275-45-007
Funders: Seventh Framework Programme, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

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