The Journal of Intercultural Studies has accepted the article ‘Interethnic Contact Online. Contextualizing the Implications of Social Media use by Second Generation Migrant Youth’. I’ve co-authored this article with Rianne Dekker and Warda Balabas, both colleagues from Erasmus University. The article deals with the relation between social media use and inter-ethnic context amongst migrant youth in Rotterdam.
The paper nuances the assumption that social media promotes bonding or intra-ethnic contact within communities rather than bridging or inter-ethnic contact between communities. Interethnic contact was mostly established in interest-based online venues. Intra-ethnic online contact was established when the interest guiding migrant youth’s online behaviour was their ethnic ethnicity. Studies sampling respondents through ethnic online communities (for example ethnic forums or Facebook groups) or looking at content of such media, risk overemphasizing the scale and effects of intra-ethnic social media use. Furthermore, we found that bonding with migrant communities by second generation migrant youth via social media is less oriented at the home-country than the home-culture; the transnational dimension of social media activities appears very limited. These findings add an important dimension to the current academic (and policy) debate on interethnic contact that often stresses the spatial (dispersal, gentrification) dimension rather than the virtual dimension.