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Narratives of migration on Facebook: Belonging and identity among former fellow refugees

  • Dominika M. Baran (a1)
Abstract

This article brings together research on migration and identity in translocal and superdiverse contexts, and the recently expanding interest in narratives and interaction in social media, by examining the construction of identities in narratives shared in a private Facebook group message. The participants are former fellow refugees from Poland who reconnected on Facebook after two decades. The article analyzes three narratives produced in response to the researcher's question about ethnic and national affiliations. Using Bucholtz & Hall's (2004) tactics of intersubjectivity framework, this study examines the complex and conflicting ways in which individuals position themselves with respect to various contexts of belonging and difference (Meinhof & Galasiński 2005) that emerge in their narratives. I argue that the narratives show a link between essentialist or nonessentialist views of ethnicity/nationality, and the teller's assumed agency over her identity. The study also discusses new possibilities for discursive practices in social media contexts. (Narrative, migration, social media, identity, belonging)

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dominika M. Baran, English Department, Duke University, Allen Building 314 Durham, NC 27708, USA dominika.baran@duke.edu
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Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
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