Uyghur facebook use and diasporic identity construction

NurMuhammad, R., Dodson, G., Papoutsaki, E., & Horst, H. (2013). Uyghur Facebook use and diasporic identity construction. In IAMCR 2013: Crises,Creative Destruction’and the Global Power and Communication Orders (pp. 1-23). International Association for Media and Communication Research. Link

Abstract

This paper presents preliminary empirical findings of an ongoing examination of the use of online social media, specifically Facebook, among the Uyghur diaspora which has been described as a ‘diaspora under construction’ (Dilnur, 2012, p.3). The paper demonstrates how online identities are constructed through social media use, and in turn how the construction of these identities contributes to the production of an emerging ‘Uyghur diasporic identity’. The research this paper is based on takes a mixed-­‐methods approach, combining content analysis of key Facebook sites and semi-­‐structured interviews with Uyghur diaspora scholars. Facebook sites have been chosen as this social network/social media constitutes a space of global, daily online interactions much used by members of the Uyghur diaspora. This paper presents an analysis of data collection over a three-­‐ month period on the Facebook wall discussion archives.

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