Some of the existing studies on the media consumption of diaspora (Georgiou,2001, 2002; Hiller & Franz, 2004; Wood & Smiths, 2004; De Andrea & Levine, 2010; Ibold, 2010; Krivolap, 2011; Macri, 2011; Dobrowsky, 2012) confirm that the Internet provides diasporas with new spaces for communication, and a new context for thinking of identity and community. This thesis particularly explores the media consumption of second generation diaspora. It focuses on the ways members of the second generation of the Congolese diaspora in Brussels use Social Network Sites (SNS), especially when it comes to self-expression and cultural identity. This research particularly seeks to identify the various ways and different types of cultural elements that could be presented on SNS. In particular, the study centers on three dimensions: identity and cultural identity, online behaviour (especially on SNS), and the relationship between cultural identity and SNS. The research design comprises of two qualitative methods: two focus groups respectively conducted with five and seven participants, in addition to a series of 13 in-depth interviews conducted with the Congolese youth and emerging adults (18-30 years old). The participants were asked to particularly reflect upon their identities and cultural identities, on their online behaviour, and on the type of cultural elements they share or could share on SNS. The results of the research demonstrated that the second generation of the Congolese diaspora in Brussels often negotiates plural identities: double, African/Congolese, or Cosmopolitan. On a cultural and collective level, the participants were proud of their community but at the same time really pessimistic. This leads to two types of online behaviour and to the expression of different cultural elements. On the one hand, SNS are used as entertainment tools where the positive and negative cultural elements presented are presented in a humoristic way. On the other hand, SNS are used as empowering tools presenting claims of cultural identity and for cultural change within the community and more self-awareness. It was discovered that the interaction on SNS helps the second generation of the Congolese diaspora in their cultural identification process and feeling of belonging.

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Al-Rawi, Ahmed
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Simba Boumba, Madly. (2014, July 14). Media Consumption of Second generation Diaspora in Brussels. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from