1st Edition

Social Media in the Lives of Young Connected Migrants Making and Unmaking Boundaries

By Xinyu Zhao Copyright 2024
    198 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Digital media are a key part of everyday social life for international migrants. However, we don’t know enough about how these migrants critically understand and cope with the cultures and infrastructures of ubiquitous connectivity while on the move. Social Media in the Lives of Young Connected Migrants explores and theorises what it means for young migrants to live in a digital age. Presenting a richly detailed analysis of Chinese international students’ everyday social media practices, the book unravels the meanings of digital connectivity in general and how contemporary mobile young generations respond to such changes. Drawing on ethnographic and interview data, this book highlights the enabling aspects of connective media in migration journeys and shows how and why young Chinese migrants manage or even resist being connected. With close attention to diasporic, intercultural, family, and professional migrant identities and relationships, the author provides a nuanced account of living with digital media in everyday settings. Focusing on the boundary practices associated with social media, the book offers a unique analytical framework through which to capture the complex intersections of digital communication technologies and migrant social life. This volume will appeal to students and scholars interested in researching Chinese diasporas, digital migration, and youth cultures.

    Introduction  1. Digital Connectivity, Migration and Young People  2. Chinese International Student Mobility and Digital China  3. Digitised Diasporic Connections and Boundaries  4. Social Media as Intercultural Contact Zone  5. Disconnective Intimacy in Transnational Family  6. Online Privacy and Boundary Work in Daigou  7. Conclusion – A Boundary Lens for Digital Migration Studies  Appendix I. A note on methods  Appendix II. Participant snapshots


    Xinyu Zhao is Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, Deakin University, Australia. His research interests include transnational mobility, digital diaspora, Chinese Internet, and family media practices. Xinyu is currently researching digital parenting in China and in the context of the Chinese diasporic families.