Chapter 4: The Internet and friendship seeking: Exploring the role of online communication in young recently immigrated women’s social lives – Assumpta Ndengeyingoma


Ndengeyingoma provides a fascinating overview of the ways in which recently immigrated girls use social media to deepen their friendship connections and to bridge the social dislocation that is part of the immigration experience. In doing so, she highlights the benefits that attract many girls to networked media — the real value of easy and ongoing contact with friends and family, and the freedom to explore new relationships and social roles in relative anonymity. But she also reminds us that every girl is situated within a wide range of socio-economic realities, and that these realities play out in diverse ways. Ndengeyingoma’s participants spoke of how difficult it can be to bridge gaps between the expectations of the members of their community of origin and the relationships and opportunities they experience in their host country. Although they, like non-immigrant girls, worried about the possibility of being monitored online by others, recently immigrated girls faced a more onerous burden because they were open to being judged for failing to satisfy the norms of either or both of the community of origin and the community of the host country.