Conference - June 22-23, 2018

Homeland-Diaspora Relations in Flux

Greece and Greeks abroad at times of Crisis

St Antony's College, University of Oxford.

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Presenting paper

From diasporic communities to transnational networks of practice: social media use transforming the experience of place and diaspora

This paper attempts to enhance our understanding on some of the radical changes that are being manifested in the relationship between states and collective identities and the way media technologies may shape and reshape these dynamics. Using virtual ethnography as a methodological framework for the study of phenomena that begin offline and extend online, such as the experience of diaspora, I follow a group of Greeks living abroad through their online and offline interactions to find out how social media use shapes the experience of displacement and I use screen observations as a starting point to observe a shift in the modern diasporic experience. It emerges that for the diasporic populations under study, notions of ‘home’ are not only ‘imagined’ – as in the traditional diaspora-­‐ but also lived through numerous virtual returns, transnational ties and deteritorialized practices. The network it was found to foster transnational rather than diasporic practices thus it was likely to complement to the creation of transnational identities, continuously reconstructed in the interface of different cultural contexts, allowing for creative redefinitions of Greek ethic identity and cultural renewal. Findings pose further questions about the existence of a discourse beyond diaspora to newer forms of transnationalism -­‐enabled by the use of the social network site-­‐ with further consequences on collective identities and practices.

Author bio

Doutsou Ioanna. As an experienced communications consultant with a demonstrated academic and professional background in the field of Media and Information technology, I have been working for Greek Research Centres for the last 5 years. I hold a PhD in the field of Language, Discourse and Communication (Kings College London), an MSc in Media and Communications Policy and Regulation (London School of Economics and Political Science) and a BSc in Mass Media and Communications (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). My research interest currently focuses on new media – especially social networks-­‐ and their interplay with wider cultural phenomena and my teaching experience as a lecturer – in Greek institutions and abroad -­‐ has been in the subjects of Computer Mediated Communication, Digital Marketing, Journalistic language, Media Production, Digital Journalism, Creative Writing etc.
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