“Youth, media and migration” At home in two worlds
Scientists and students involved in the research project “Youth, media and migration” took a closer look at the media habits of immigrant youths. The study revealed that they are savvy when it comes to the many forms of media they use.
When Pinar Erdemir was born to Turkish parents in Heilbronn 30 years ago, mobile phones were a rarity and online social networks weren’t even an idea yet. As a kid, she spent a lot of time with her parents and siblings in a nearby video store stocking up on Turkish films before the family finally bought a TV that could receive Turkish programs via satellite. Erdemir had the impression even back then that private news stations from Turkey portrayed events in a totally different way than she was accustomed to from the German ones.
As a student she registered on Facebook, where she was exposed to a wide range of Turkish videos, poems and expressions that her German-Turkish friends had posted on their pages. Erdemir became curious how much influence the media and social networks had on the general public and, in particular, on immigrant youths in Germany. She decided to dedicate her thesis to the subject.
Student researchersErdemir’s interest in research was greeted with enthusiasm by professors Matthias Rath (philosophy in Ludwigsburg) and Gudrun Marci-Boehncke (German studies in Dortmund), whose interdisciplinary research project Youth, media and migration focused on very similar issues. The team hoped that collaborating with immigrant students like Erdemir would help draw more immigrant youths into their own project.
“We simply don’t have access to a lot of immigrant youths because of language barriers or social reasons,” explains Marci-Boehncke. “The immigrant students we have can switch between languages easily and are willing to recruit extended family and friends for the study. That brings a high level of trust as well, which is good for the results.” The situation also offers students the chance to carry out small case studies while applying their own unique knowledge and experience.