Navigating Identities


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  • One of the most cited benefits of the internet for immigrants and indeed everybody in today’s globalized world is that it can eliminate physical distance.I set out to find [[ ]]I
  • Why this studyMethodology (lit review + grounded theory + qualitative case inerviews)Main idea
  • What particularly fuels studies on identity formation today is the steadily increasing international movement of populations, one of the most important aspects of globalization. [[Children and adolescents are at the forefront of globalization (Dasen, 2000; Schlegal, 2001; Larson, 2002; Jenson, 2003; de Block & Buckingham, 2007) ]]From this conscious decision-making, a new diasporic identity is born (Mitra, 1997; Larson, 2002; Elias & Lemish, 2007, 2008). [[The diasporic identity is a consolidation of connections to the new host culture as well as the culture left behind, and the adaptation in between. ]][[“The initial stages of cultural adaptation are among the most vulnerable of human situations that may provoke a deep sense of insecurity” (Elias & Lemish, 2009, p. 547) ]]Before focusing on the internet, it is important to realize that other media, older than the internet, were and are still consequential to identity formation. Wartella and Robb (2011) discuss the history of media, indicating that it has always been consequential to children’s development—from radio to television to the internetJenson (2001) demonstrates that all media makes a difference in identity formation (p. 193).[[Kim (2001), Elias and Lemish (2009) go as far as saying that the internet plays a decisive role in the identity shaping process. ]][[The online environment is positioned as complementary and conducive to children’s identify development.]]This includes the complex diasporic identities of today
  • Immigrant children’s identity is often a combination of their activities in the global, transnational and local spheres. Each child creates his own cocktail of these three ingrediants. Let’s look at each component that may contribute to diasporic identities. [[The global cultural sphere]] Global youth identity is international. Worldwide trends like Web 2.0; Facebooking; Hello Kitty products or the beatles are examples there. They are products or activities popular worldwide regardless of what country you’re from.[[The Transnational cultural sphere]] is another one immigrant children may keep in touch with. Elias and Lemish say that the transnational relationships in immigrant children’s lives allows them to “preserve those parts of their homeland that they miss most” after they have moved away to their current host-country. Keeping up with the popular music, or national holidays from their ethnic-homeland, communicating with relatives who are still there or even parents still abroad and children communicate with them. SO participating in the transnational culture to differentdegrees can contribute to immigrant identity.Local
  • Explain ethnic and nnid w examplesEthnic identity is the identity derived from ethnic culture. In the case of my subjects this would be the identity derived from their Iranian background. New national identity is derived from the culture of the country they now call home. This is the country to which they have emigrated. New national identity is an identity based on local culture. from the culture available locally to the immigrant child. In the case of my subjects this would be the American culture.
  • First dialogue boxLocal cultural activities boxUses for the internet box
  • EMERGENT THEORYYou can also indicate the years they were in the states. Peyton 5 yrs, Emma 5 yrs, Jasmine 5 yrs
  • Supporting emergent theory
  • Children of immigrants >> Perhaps because they always lived in the US, the combination of different cultures in their identity has remained constant. Thus whatever ingredient of cultures they experience is taken for granted and invisible to them.Immigrant children>> Perhaps because they recall a time in their life where their cultural exposure was different, their experiences today stand relative to their past. Thus it is quite visible that a new nationality exists.
  • Navigating Identities

    1. 1. Master of Arts’ Thesis PresentationOn Immigrant Children, Identity &the Internet Minoo Razavi Spring 2013Adviser: Dr. Evan Barba, Communication, Culture& TechnologyReader: Dr. Fathali M. Moghaddam, Department ofPsychology
    2. 2. The internet diminishes physical distance but it can also serve local, closer, needs. How do children in migration use the internet to discover their local identity? ii i iMinoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013 i
    3. 3. 1 Conducted an in-depth literature review 2 Found my question addressed but vaguely so 3 Conducted 7 one hour interviews 4 Coded transcribed interviews 5 Sought an emerging theory from data iMinoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013 v
    4. 4. • Children and adolescents are at the forefront of globalization (Larson, 2002; Jenson, 2003; de Block & Buckingham, 2007) • The diasporic identity is a consolidation of connections to the new host culture as well as the culture left behind, and the adaptation in between. • “The initial stages of cultural adaptation are among the most vulnerable of human situations that may provoke a deep sense of insecurity” (Elias & Lemish, 2009, p. 547) • The internet plays a decisive role in the identity shaping process. (Kim, 2001; Elias & Lemish, 2009) The online environment is positioned as complementary and conducive to children’s identity development.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    5. 5. GLOBAL • Inclusive and unfettered by any one national allegiance. The Beatles ; Web 2.0; Hello Kitty TRANSNATIONAL • “Preserve those parts of their homeland that they miss most.” (Elias & Lemish, 2009, p. 547) Relatives or Parents “back home”; National Holidays ; Popular music LOCAL •Two different sets of examples: (1) Specialty Grocery for Iranian Foods; Iranian-American Community Events (2) U.S. Federal Calendar ; Motor Vehicle Administration “Local” culture is undefined and broad in literature. It can be delineated into: (1) Ethnic and (2) New National cultures.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    6. 6. • Exclusive to immigrants of one ETHNIC ethnicity. LOCAL e.g. German culture of German- Americans NEW • Commonly available to all immigrants regardless of NATIONAL ethnicity. e.g. American culture available to German-Americans, Iranian- Americans, Irish-Americans … Local immigrant identity is derived from two distinct cultures: the ethnic and the new national. Both these local cultures can be accessed online.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    7. 7. • 19 years old• Born in Iran• Moved to the U.S.A. at 14 years of age • I couldnt make any friends cause I couldnt even talk to them in English! I started watching online movies on my laptop, and, like, I used to turn the subtitles on. • I use the internet 50% to talk to people, 50% learning about American culture. • Not understanding something American happens less now, but it still happens. Like, I hear something on the radio. Theyre laughing, and I do not get it! I will definitely search for it on Google. And the site, UrbanDictionary. I always access it on my laptop. Its in my favorites list. • I use Instagram a lot. My followers are 50% American friends, 30% Persian friends I hang out with, %20 family in IranMinoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    8. 8. • 13 years old• Born in the United States of America• Lives in the U.S.A.  Do you ever have questions about your social life or pop culture? Local Cultural Activities:  No. • Most friends are American  Never?! Like, if there is a reference Uses the internet mostly for: you dont get or something slang (NNID) • Homework & Research • Text messaging with friends that you hear? • Talking to family and lessons on 2 • Music orchestra in Iran  Not really.  Anything ever happened in school • Facebook activity with traditional Iranian instruments that made you feel like you were • family in Pittsburg • Family gatherings different or culturally not getting it? • Family in Iran • Talking to family in Iran  Not really; no. On a rate of 1-10 in • select activity with family • Facebook friends from school in popularity in school I guess Ill Pittsburg, Iran and select friends give myself an 8 just because I from school hang out with everyone.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    9. 9. Participant New National Country of Internet used Culture Issue Birth for NNID Diane No USA -- Heidi No USA -- v Nicole No USA -- Samy No USA -- Peyton Yes Iran Yes Emma Yes Iran Yes Jasmine Yes Iran Yes vi Data indicates a correlation between country of birth and whether new national culture is perceived as unknown territory to be explored.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    10. 10. Children of Self- Immigrants Identification Diane No Heidi No Nicole No Samy No (once) Children of immigrants did not self-identify according to their ethnicity or nationality.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    11. 11. GLOBAL TRANSNATIONAL L O C A L NEW ETHNIC NATIONALMinoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    12. 12. Children of Immigrants Immigrant Children  Children of immigrants are not  Immigrant children are consciously cognizant of a new consciously cognizant of a new national identity as an national culture. They vividly independent entity. describe new national identity as a new addition to their identity’s composition.  They use the internet to resolve any questions but none of the  They do use internet sources to examples show their search as develop their NNID as needs different from their American arise. peers.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    13. 13. Selected References De Block, L., & Buckingham, D. (2007). Global children, global media: migration, media and childhood. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Elias, N., & Lemish, D. (2008). Media Uses in Immigrant Families: Torn between Inward and Outward Paths of Integration. The International Communication Gazette, 70, 21-40. Elias, N., & Lemish, D. (2009). Spinning the web of identity: the roles of the internet in the lives of immigrant adolescents. New Media & Society, 11, 533-551. Horrigan, J. (2006). Portraits of American Internet Use: Findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. In Kraut, Brynin & Kiesler Computers, Phones, and the Internet: Domesticating Information Technology (pp. 21-32). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jensen, L. A. (2003). Coming of Age in a Multicultural World: Globalization and Adolescent Cultural Identity Formation. Applied Developmental Science, 7, 189-196. Kim, Y. Y. (2001). Becoming intercultural: an integrative theory of communication and cross-cultural adaptation. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. Kraut, R. E., Brynin, M., & Kiesler, S. (2006). Computers, phones, and the Internet: domesticating information technology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Larson, R. (2003). Globalization, Societal Change, and New Technologies: What They Mean for the Future of Adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 12, 1-30. Mitra, A. (1997). Diasporic Web Sites: Ingroup and Outgroup Discourse. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 14, 158-181. Tynes, B., Giang, M., & Thompson, G. (2008). Ethnic Identity, Intergroup Contact, and Outgroup Orientation among Diverse Groups of Adolescents on the Internet. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11, 459-465. Wartella, E., & Robb, M. (2008). Historical and Recurring Concerns about Childrens Use of the Mass Media. In Calvert & Wilson (eds) The handbook of children, media, and development (pp. 7-27).Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013
    14. 14. Borrowed Slideshow Imagesi. d 9Mar2009.jpgv. All other images excluding logos of Georgetown University and Communication, Culture and Technology are the property of Minoo Razavi © 2013. Permission to share with attribution is granted. No other use of images, unedited, remixed or shared is authorized.Minoo Razavi © 2013 | April 15, 2013