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Reading and writing ones network: Multidiscursive identity practices

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Explores the question: What social network does what kind of literacy support and make possible?

Publié dans : Formation, Business, Technologie

Reading and writing ones network: Multidiscursive identity practices

  1. 1. ‘Reading’ their network & ‘Writing’ one into being: Multidiscursive identity practices of Dutch-Moroccan youth in hybrid social networks Fleur Prinsen & Kevin Leander
  2. 2. Literacy concept Literacy approached as a tool for: 1) Network interpretation; Interpretation of text/discourses present within a (sub)network, that is of importance for one’s identity. 2) Network (re)production; (Re)Production of a (sub)network, that is important for one’s identity, through text/discourse. Making connections to meaningful discourses through communicative connectivity
  3. 3. Research question What social network does what kind of literacy support and make possible? Type 2: Type 1:
  4. 4. Theoretical framework • Social Network Analytic perspective (e.g. Scott, 2000; Wasserman & Faust, 1994) • Extension of ‘Identity as Position’ metaphor (Moje et al., 2009) towards ‘Networked Identity’ • Literacy as communicative connectivity (see also Hepp et al., 2011), reproducing and extending identity, in a networked perspective.
  5. 5. Methods Social Network Interviews (n=30) to… • Generate network of important people (Using VennMaker and NodeXl software). • Capture discourse about communicative connectivity practices. Social Network Analysis to… • Calculate structural and compositional measures. Iterative Reading and Content Coding of Social Network Interview transcripts to… • Organize and describe every day patterns of their communicative connectivity practices (118 codes, using Nvivo software).
  6. 6. Results Network types based on ... • Differences in structure and composition & • Associated tendencies towards (type-) specificity of communicative connectivity
  7. 7. Maintaining and extending connections Type 2: The Etnically Homogeneous Network 100% ‘same-ethnicity’ alters (mean = 83%), consisting of 2 fairly dense clusters
  8. 8. Maintaining and extending connections: ‘Reading’ one’s network Maintaining ethnically specific connections: • Connecting to discourses within Dutch-Moroccan culture and peer group. • Shared experiences and more immediate understanding without language or cultural barriers, e.g. speaking Moroccan amongst each other. • Consumption of ethnically specific social media options, e.g. to read stories written by Dutch- Moroccan youth online and connect through shared social networking practices.
  9. 9. Interviewer: “And with whom do you feel you belong? With what kind of persons do you feel at home?” Student: “Just normal people. I do not like it when people feel they are higher than you or anything. Normal people, that behave normally and that do not feel higher than others or stronger or better”. Interviewer: ”And you and your friends all have the same cultural background?” Student: ”Yes.” Interviewer: “And why is that important to you?” Student: ”I feel most comfortable there, with people that are of the same descent as me, because we understand each other more because of that.” “For instance, most of the time with my Moroccan friends I can just speak Moroccan, not with other people.” Interviewer: “And that is important for you that you can speak Moroccan?” Student: “Yes, most of the time, yes.”. Interviewer: “Can you express different things in Moroccan than with the Dutch language?” Student: “Sometimes, for instance (???) how kids laugh, to be angry for different reasons.”
  10. 10. ‘Writing’ an extended network into being Extending ethnically specific connections: • Use of ethnically specific online networking sites for extended communicative connectivity with ethnically similar others, using cultural identification symbols like Moroccan nicknames and pictures.
  11. 11. Interviewer: “And how did you meet them?” Student: “On that one site, that I just mentioned, that Moroccan site. There you can react to topics and such.” “That one for young ones, Chaima.nl, and that other one is just Marokko.nl.” Interviewer: “So you have a little group there with whom you talk a lot?” Student: “ (.)I talk mostly just to such a (..) gir.. (???) that girl and another one like that, who I got to know and lives in Rotterdam South. And with that girl… where there are only girls, there were a couple of boys that came and were acting funny and such… so that.” Interviewer: “Okay, and can you, that which you learn online… so for instance what you learn on Marokko.nl… maybe you learn something from the stories you say you read there… can you use that in school?“ Student: “No, but I can use it, like, how I should do it later on, let’s say. Those girls have experienced certain things and they are now I don’t know how old… they tell their life when they were 15 or 16 years old. […] just problems at school, she was bullied and such… Interviewer: ”Yes, in what way can you learn from that? “ Student: “I like it when they at a later time, then they have, how will I say it, then everything turned out for the best. Interviewer: “Yes, and do you do something with that information?” Student: “then if I had a problem like that, than I would do it the way they did it.”
  12. 12. Maintaining and extending connections: Type 3: The family centered network Over-representation of family (above 68%, mean=58%), 2 fairly dense clusters
  13. 13. Maintaining and extending connections: Type 3: The family centered network
  14. 14. ‘Reading’ one’s network Maintaining familial connections: • Oriented towards familial (origin) culture, many family members in peer group, integrating some other peers without leaving too large a structural hole. • Extended familial roles.
  15. 15. ‘Writing’ anextendednetworkintobeing • European or global (family-oriented) belonging through transnational communicative connectivity. • No online exploration for extended communicative connectivity – Internet not used to make new friends.
  16. 16. Interviewer: “Okay and with whom do you feel you belong, with what kind of people do you feel at home?” Student: “Uhm, with my friends and a couple of my cousins.” Interviewer: “And how would you describe your friends?” Student: “The same as me. … I like quiet girlfriends.” Interviewer: “and are there people in this picture that have the same life experiences as you?” Student: “Uhm, yes, my two cousins [one of them lives in Germany].” Interviewer: “When you come online, are there people that immediately click on you to talk?” Student: “Yes, these and these [points out some people in the network].” Interviewer: “And those cousins of yours, where do they live?” Student: Uhm, this one lives abroad, in Germany, and this one lives here in Den Bosch. Interviewer: “and what language do you speak to each other?” Student: “On MSN? Well, I speak a bit of German, we mixed a bit, a bit of Moroccan, a bit of English a bit of German and Dutch.” Interviewer: “Alright, but you do always understand each other?” Student: “Yes, they also are quite good at speaking Dutch, and yes, I get taught German here in school and then it goes.”
  17. 17. Maintaining and extending connections: Type 1: The fragmented, briding network Includes ‘isolates’, more than 3 clusters (average = 2) , less dense (below.6)
  18. 18. ‘Reading’ one’s network • Recognition of limited discourses & Unfulfilled identity needs Interviewer: “And your mom is not on Hyves [Dutch Social Networking site], is she?” Student: “Yes, she knows I have Hyves and MSN and such but … my dad also knows, but not really with uhm… with whom I talk or anything. That, uhm… they would not agree with that (laughs). Yes, they .. they have, we are in our religion not really uhm… are very modest with uhm…, they’d rather not I uhm, I am allowed to talk to guys, but not a lot. Or hang out with them, outside or, especially those he does not know himself. Interviewer: “Yes, so do you find it bothersome that you cannot show certain things to your mom and dad? Of yourself?” Student: “Uhm, no, not really, because I already know how they will react, so I’d rather keep it to myself.” • Literacy used for active extension
  19. 19. ‘Writing’ and extended network into being Student: “Yes, that exists like that, yes it is actually standard with every uhm Moroccan girl really. So yes, if you ask something like that she will tell you the same. […] But I think that if that opportunity [to meet boys online] wasn’t there, there would be another way, I think. Uhm, yes, outside or so. But it’s never as easy as Hyves. Hyves has been, I think, quite a change for most people. Uhm, I think that you get to know people like that really, that in real life you would not have approached. I don’t know how that sounds… Yeah really just because we… yeah… really do not normally do such things. It has become standard … if that weren’t there any longer it would … people would really have life changes. Internet plays a big role in our lives.”
  20. 20. Writing and extended network into being (Student II) Interviewer: “And do you know what you want to become?” Student: “I want to go into politics.” “I do think that ambition is a bit different from others, because they still think about playing and such.” “I do not learn much from other people about politics. I am interested in it myself and I look up things that I want to know myself.” “But sometimes you see people that are on the political fora a lot and that say things that interest you, that you agree with, I then mainly pay attention to those people.” Interviewer: “And was there someone in this picture that belonged to those people? Student: “Yes, Dionne.” Interviewer: “Do other people in your network know that you are participating on fora?” Student: “Berrol (best friend), only Berrol knows. I do not really talk about it when I get to school every day, because no one else is on it in my class, so then I find it useless to talk about it.”
  21. 21. Writing and extended network into being (II) Interviewer: "Are there people in your online network with whom you undertake activities in which you like to improve?" Student: " Debating, for instance" ... " Some people are very good at, for example, starting a discussion and they provoke very well. Some people know to give their opinion. It's not like I learn from them directly, that they know like you do it this or that way, but I watch them and see how they do it.“ […] [For instance] “You have to adjust to your environment. Yes, also, for example, if you … on a forum like Marokko.nl… being a Muslim you cannot go and call out that homosexuality, that that is also allowed and such things” “Also, again, because they would not understand”. “Because I knew there are not many Muslims on this [other] forum… I will adjust… so I’ll do it from the perspective of a Christian.” “At kijkditnou.nl I’m a little more held back, because I know some of those things people just don’t understand. So then, I don’t say everything. But that is only in the area of Religion, when it is about politics I let it all out.”
  22. 22. Conclusions What social network does what kind of literacy support and make possible? General Network Characteristics: Fairly dense, Of reasonable size, Including a family and a school cluster (overlapping with neighborhood contacts) Types of networks [structurally and compositionally different]: 1) Sizeable, dense network of Similar Others Only: • Use literacies to consolidate their cultural identity (to be able to “be themselves” in their most important circles). • Use literacies to engage multiple resources for developing themselves. • Extensive use of ethnic-specific online social networking sites, seeking contact with more similar others. 2) Family centered network: • Use literacies to build and strengthen their familial cultural identities and develop extended familial roles. • Use literacies to maintain transnational ties with family abroad. • Either no need for alternate contacts or barriers (e.g. trust).
  23. 23. Conclusions (II) What social networks does what kind of literacy support and make possible? 3) Mainly offline network: • Some focus on offline activities (e.g. sports) and do not feel need to develop online literacies. • Some have a small circle to begin with and do not extend online. • Online literacies are employed for individual informational use. • Encounter social barriers to develop online (social) literate activity. 4) Fragmented, bridging network: • Use literacies to take advantage of online social networking opportunities, compensating for lacking social resources. • Extend contacts with meaningful others, not necessarily of same background. • Report more use of ethnic a-specific media for communicative connectivity. • Develop a familiarity with various (cultural) genres.
  24. 24. General conclusion Network expansion through literate activities in online social media, depends on the kind of discourses available within one’s network(ed) publics, and their meaning in a person’s social life. Literacies are used and developed in the interpretation and (re)production of one’s networks

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