Diasporic mothering and Somali diaspora formation in the Netherlands

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This article addresses how Somali women from the Netherlands participate in digital diaspora formation. It specifically takes the lens of ‘diasporic mothering’ understood as a site where difference and belonging are negotiated through work of cultural reproduction, collective identity construction and stable homemaking. I first analytically distinguish between two generations of Somali women on the basis of their arrival trajectory and their socio-economic background at the time of their living in Somalia. Second, by foregrounding Somali women’s lived experiences, I show how their participation in diaspora formation is shaped by both mothering practices, and local and national Dutch policy approaches to migration. Last, I argue that the specificities of the local and national Dutch context favours rather physical and neighbourhood-based diaspora encounters, while de-centring the role of digital media in the initial formation of diaspora networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-55
JournalJournal of Global Diaspora and Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Amsterdam
  • Somali women
  • digital diaspora
  • migration
  • mothering
  • the Netherlands


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