Bits of homeland: Generational and gender transformations of Moroccan-Dutch youth using digital technologies


  • Koen Leurs Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University (The Netherlands )
  • Sandra Ponzanesi



Moroccan-Dutch youth, Internet applications, migration, transnational networking, generation, gender


Generational and gendered specificities of digital technology use within migrant families remain understudied and undertheorized (Green & Kabir, 2012). Digital technologies are used among descendants of migrants to sustain and update networks while simultaneously they allow the younger generation to assert their individuality and circumvent gendered family norms. By analyzing generational specificities and gender negotiations apparent in the use of Internet applications among Moroccan-Dutch youth between 12 and 18 years old, two lacunas in the fields of migration and media studies are addressed. Findings stem from the Utrecht University research project ‘Wired Up: Digital media as innovative socialization practices for migrant youth’ ( In particular, the argument draws upon a large-scale survey, qualitative in-depth interviews and a virtual ethnography. The empirical part consists of two case studies. In the first case study, the focus is on generational differences in digital technology use in Moroccan-Dutch families. In particular, generational aspects of transnational online networking, like instant messaging, Skype and social networking, are discussed. In the second case study, the focus is on the negotiation of gender relations within Moroccan-Dutch households. In particular, the analysis zooms in on gender relations discussed on online message boards. We argue that generational and gender relations are highly intertwined with each other.




How to Cite

Leurs, K., & Ponzanesi, S. (2013). Bits of homeland: Generational and gender transformations of Moroccan-Dutch youth using digital technologies. Observatorio (OBS*).