Digital divides in the era of widespread Internet access: Migrant youth negotiating hierarchies in digital culture.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter I analyse the digital practices of migrant youth as situated,
power-laden, pleasurable and sometimes painful everyday experiences. I develop Walter Benjamin’s theorisations of the nineteenth century “arcade” or commercial passageway (Benjamin W (1999) The Arcades project. Harvard University Press, Cambridge), together with Nirmal Puwar’s understanding of how non-normative bodies become “space invaders” (Puwar N (2004) Space invaders: race, gender and bodies out of place. Berg, Oxford) upon entering certain domains, in order to conceptualise the digital spatial biases of online platforms and their subversions. The argument builds on survey, interview and ethnographic data gathered as part of the interdisciplinary research project Wired Up. Digital media as innovative socialisation practices for migrant youth run by Utrecht University. I argue firstly how offline societal power relations related to race and ethnicity, religion and gender relations travel online and create new digital divides that go beyond computer ownership and Internet access. Secondly, I argue how Internet platforms become spaces for the
negotiation of power relations, digital belonging and greater cultural understanding in an increasingly multicultural world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYouth 2.0. Connecting, Sharing and Empowering
Subtitle of host publicationAffordances, Uses and Risks of Social Media.
EditorsM. Walrave, K Ponnet, E. Vanderhoven, J. Haers, B. Sageart
Place of PublicationCham
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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