Civic participation today is increasingly multi-sited, operating in, between and across specific locations. Growing numbers of people experience multi-sited embeddedness, which I understand both in the sense of belonging to and engaging in multiple communities. In this article, I focus on those who left Somalia as young children or were born to Somali parents in exile, and ask what motivates these young people to return or turn to the Somali region. What experiences shape their civic engagement and where do they engage? How does their hybrid, multi-sited or embedded sense of identity impact their engagement in several locations? And how does that engagement affect their sense of identity? The article is based on 80 in-depth interviews and four focus group discussions in Garowe, Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Oslo and the Twin Cities. Informants stayed for shorter or longer durations in the Somali region but lived for the larger part of their lives in Norway or the United States. I illustrate how young people’s civic engagement impact feelings of belonging as much as their sense of belonging influences their civic actions. In this article, I argue for non-binary ways of studying multi-sited embeddedness that do justice to diaspora youth’s everyday negotiations.
Horst, Cindy (2018) Making a difference in Mogadishu? Experiences of multi-sited embeddedness among diaspora youth, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44 (8): 1341–1356.