This theme has turned out to be, as expected, a very messy and complex one. I want to address the internet as a web of interconnected spaces, but still experienced as a world in where engagement with popular culture happens. Thinking the Internet as space is challenging given the multiplicity of platforms where activities happen. Further, the available data is mostly collected from interviews and the facebook walk-thru. It is narrative data. Observations of the actual interactions in online worlds were not made.
How do they navigate the Internet? How they use it? With resources do they mobilize? Do they use it to assimilate? They use it in a social way in certain SNS such as facebook. They use it to do homework. They do a lot of copy-paste. Find answers online. They use it to learn about their interests, their cultural passions. To download software, files. In a way, even if they do not fully participate in some of those online communities, at least they can enhance their sense of inclusion. They can feel part of a broader, imagined community of interests. Even though they do not participate that much sharing content.
However, some of them do share content with others. All of them use Facebook. Are active to different degrees. Facebook is related to their offline network of peers. All of them use YouTube. And although they do not publish video, they watch a lot. They also listen to a lot of music in youtube. This practice gives them access to a broader selection of music, lets them connect to many genres, and develop their musical taste. For instance, Gabriela uses Flickr and Tumblr. Msny of them like to take pictures and use mobile apps such as Instagram. Some of them, such as Miguel, love videogames and play them in a networked way, what allow them to become part of communities and worlds. All of them have emails.
The idea that they have access to a technology and use it in particular ways in their everyday life. When they go online, what are the resources they use? in a when being online they can develop certain identities that are very independent from their social, and race/ethnicity. They do not go online to be more hispanic/latino. But instead to pursue their interests. Some of those interests are also developed in the afterschool space, where they also join afterschool programs where they can thrive, perform, construct their selves as creative persons. Do their media practices help them to enhnce the
What are their practices online? create, search, curate, circulate? do they help them to assimilate? to what degree their skills help them to become incorporated to the U.S? They definitely want to be part of the internet culture, the gaming culture, music cultures. But are those American ones? some of them are, but also are comopolitan and global. So it is really assimilation or something different? What are the kinds of things they get to watch, read, and listen? It is just popular culture? or something else? What are their disconnections? civics? academics? Do they enhance their experience as immigrants? as Americans? Do they help them to keep transnational connections?
Do they experience new media as public space? as belonging? as community?
Diverse experiences of latino/hispanic youth.
It might be necessary to find specific examples about the intertingle of offline and online worlds, for instance peer group world in facebook, or afterschool world in facebook and in websites, reveal that their experience of sociality is offline/online. for instance, how they do school homework using the internet, as a place to gather information, grab answers to questions, also a place to learn about their interests, to consume entertainment, music, and to play games.
Important things to consider regarding the study of the Internet and Cyberculture:
"offline contexts perfmeate and influence online situations, and online situations and experiences always feed back into offline experience." (Baym, 2006, 86) "recognize that the internet is woven into the fabric of the rest of life"(Baym, 2006, 86)
Interconnections between the life world and the Internet do exist and they need to be acknowledged. In the case of this gorup of latino/hispanic youth, their condition as minority, immigrants, low-income, influence their activities online.
According to Nancy Baym,the strengths of qualitative research studies on the Internet are 6:
"they are grounded in theory and data, they demonstrate rigor in data collection and analysis, they use multiple strategies to get data, they take into account the perspective of the participants, they demonstrate awareness of and self-reflexivity regarding the research process, and they take into consideration interconnections between the Internet and the life world in which it is situated" (Baym, 2006, p. 82).
Baym, N. (2006). Finding the quality in qualitative research, In D. Silver, and A. Massanari (eds), Critical Cyberculture Studies. New York: New York University Press. pp. 79-87.
How does look the map of the Internet that the latino/hispanic youth from this study navigate? Where do they go? Where do they socialize? which communities do they visit? which ones do they join?
I would like to create a sort of map like the one XKCD did about Online Communities back in 2010. XKCD is a webcomic created by Randall Munroe.
- Online Communities 2, a new version of the Map of Online Communities, updated for 2010: 
- The first Map of Online communities was published in 2007: 
Stats and Surveys
Data on Internet use, teens, and youth, in the U.S. could be useful for contextualizing the massive and mainstream aspect of the practices. They are normative. Then, it can be argued that several of their Internet practices are also signs of their assimilation.