PhD Defence Claudia Minchilli: Localizing Digital Diasporas

On 19 November, Claudia Minchilli defended her dissertation titled Localizing Digital Diasporas. Diasporic digital networking among Somali, Romanian and Turkish women in Rome through the lens of social class.

Diasporic digital practices

In her dissertation, Minchilli investigated the diasporic digital practices of Somali, Romanian and Turkish migrant women living in Rome. Her research had a particular focus on the interrelation with social class dynamics and forms of social stratification from a gender perspective. With this research, she showed how looking at digital practices from an intersectional and local perspective that is sensitive to social class dynamics provides a vantage point for understanding the emergence and articulation of specific forms of digitally-led diasporic sociality on a local level.

Contextual power relations

Minchilli’s epistemological approach to the study of digital diasporas was influenced by feminist and postcolonial theories on migration and diaspora studies, and sensitive to the analysis of contextual power dynamics as they act within the field of diaspora space. She showed how contextual power relations – and migrants’ positioning in relation to them – are implicated along the online–offline continuum in the process of migrants’ identity formation and community-making, and in the articulation of a sense of belonging in a context of displacement.

This PhD defence took place on 19 November 2021 at Utrecht University. The PhD supervisors were Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi and Prof. Radhika Gajjala. The co-supervisor was Dr. Domitilla Olivieri. For more information, see here