Digital Multiculturalism in the Netherlands: Religious, Ethnic, and Gender Positioning by Moroccan-Dutch Youth

Koen Leurs, Eva Midden, Sandra Ponzanesi

URN:NBN:NL:UI:10-1-101595

Abstract

This article focuses on digital practices of Moroccan-Dutch adolescents in the Netherlands. The digital sphere is still rather understudied in the Netherlands. However, it offers a unique, entry to intersecting issues of religiosity, ethnicity and gender as well as to their implications for thinking about multiculturalism from new vantage points. What do digital practices such as online discussion board participation tell us about identity and multiculturalism? The three forms of position acquisition under discussion (gender, religion and ethnic positioning) show that neither religion, ethnicity, nor gender cease to exist in the digital realm but are constantly negotiated, reimagined and relocated. Drawing from the work of Modood, Gilroy and other critics of gender, media, multiculturalism and postcoloniality, we argue that online activities of the Moroccan-Dutch youth not only offer an important critique of mainstream media debates on multiculturalism, but also create space for alternative bottom-up interpretations of everyday practices of multiculturalism in the Netherlands.

Keywords

digital media, online discussion boards, Moroccan-Dutch youth, Intersectionality, multiculturalism, conviviality