New-generation Ties: Identity, Social Relations and Digital Technologies among 2G Migrants in Italy

Nicoletta Vittadini, Daniele Milesi, Piermarco Aroldi


The article describes the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) among 2G migrants in Italy. In accordance with the specific conditions of migration to Italy, the article is mainly focused on the use of CMC among adolescents. It is based on the results of a research project on mediated communication practices, identity shaping and the complexity of the ties in which 2G migrants are involved. Particular attention is paid to the role of CMC in supporting different kinds of family ties: transnational family; immediate group; constructed family (Buckingham & De Block, 2004). The empirical study was developed in two main phases: an exploratory phase (November and December 2009) and a more "intensive" phase (February and June 2010). During both phases we adopted a multi-method approach, including questionnaires and different qualitative methodologies (in-depth interviews, focus groups, shadowing). The research results highlight the use of digital communication technologies in the management of social networks in both real and virtual life, the connection between the use of digital communication technologies, and the different social networks in which adolescents belonging to second generations of migrants are included (family, school-friends, friends and affective relationships).


2G, second generation, migrants, Italy, transnationalism, CMC

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