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Reading: Online Communities of Spanish Migrants in Times of Austerity

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Online Communities of Spanish Migrants in Times of Austerity

Author:

Ruth Sanz Sabido

Canterbury Christ Church University, GB
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Abstract

This article examines the perceptions, held by Spanish migrants, of the extent to which social media facilitate the development of a sense of community within their host towns and cities. Focusing particularly on the creation of Facebook groups called ‘Españoles en…’ (‘Spaniards in…’), the study explores the role that these online tools play in the development of connections between Spanish citizens who reside in the same locality. The aim, therefore, is to ask how they try to maintain their socio-cultural identities within a diasporic community, especially one that has suffered the effects of economic austerity. Based on the results of a qualitative survey answered by Spanish migrants living in Britain, France and Germany, the article sheds light on the relative usefulness - as perceived by the migrants themselves - of online engagement in the maintenance and development of a communal mind-set. The piece suggests that the migrants’ individual backgrounds and experiences, including their individual political stances, skills, socio-economic circumstances, and regional affiliations, seem to play a more important role in shaping their conceptions of the online ‘community’, than any broader assumptions made about unitary national identity or the role of technology. 

How to Cite: Sanz Sabido, R., (2017). Online Communities of Spanish Migrants in Times of Austerity. JOMEC Journal. (11), pp.83–95. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2017.10144
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Published on 06 Jul 2017.
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