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Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging

Project description

Leveraging the potential of digital diasporas

Europe faces the challenges of accommodating new immigrants, including undocumented migrants, resulting in gender and ethnic segregation, particularly among migrant women. In this context, the ERC-funded CONNECTINGEUROPE project will focus on the concept of the ‘connected migrant’. By studying virtual communities of migrants, known as digital diasporas, the project will explore the intricate dynamics of technology, migration, globalisation, alienation, and belonging. It will also explore the impact of digital technologies in fostering European integration while combating gender and ethnic segregation, ultimately promoting a cosmopolitan outlook on the continent's diversity. Specifically, the project will focus on digital diasporas within Somali, Turkish, and Romanian communities, offering a comparative perspective by gathering and mapping online behaviour of migrant women across Europe.


Many immigrants enter Europe both legally and illegally every year. This creates multiple challenges for the Union, including the gender and ethnic segregation of migrant groups, especially women. While it strives for an inclusive and integrated society as envisioned by the EU motto ‘Unity in Diversity’, it is still often perceived more as ‘Fortress Europe.’ This project focuses on the ‘connected migrant’, studying how virtual communities of migrants, or digital diasporas, convey issues of technology, migration, globalisation, alienation and belonging capturing the lives of migrants in their interaction with multiple worlds and media.
More specifically, it will investigate whether digital technologies enhance European integration or foster gender and ethnic segregation, and, if so, how. Using a multi-layered and cutting-edge approach that draws from the humanities, social science and new media studies (i.e. internet studies and mobile media), this research considers: 1. How migration and digital technologies enable digital diasporas (Somali, Turkish, Romanian) and the impact these have on identity, gender and belonging in European urban centres; 2. How these entanglements are connected to and perceived from outside Europe by focusing on transnational ties; and 3. How digital connections create new possibilities for cosmopolitan outlooks, rearticulating Europe’s motto of ‘Unity in Diversity.’
The outcomes of this work will be innovative at three levels. a) Empirically, the project gathers, maps and critically grounds online behaviour by migrant women from a European comparative perspective. b) Methodologically, it breaks new ground by developing new methods of analysis for digital diasporas contributing to the development of ‘postcolonial’ digital humanities. c) Conceptually, it integrates colonial and migrant relations into the idea of Europe, elaborating on the notion of cosmopolitan belonging through virtual connectivity.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 992 809,00
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)