Belonging here and there: How social media affect the transnational lives of Spaniards in Iceland

Sigrún K. Valsdóttir*, Miranda J. Lubbers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Following the economic crisis of 2008–2014, the number of Spaniards in Iceland has quintupled. This study explores how young, highly qualified Spanish migrants in Iceland adopt social media to become embedded in Iceland and to maintain relationships in Spain, and how it affects their sense of belonging. For this aim, semi-structured interviews were held in 2017–2018 with 29 Spaniards residing in Iceland, and their personal networks were analyzed. We found that migrants who felt they belonged to both Spain and Iceland had more social relationships in Iceland and used more social media platforms to sustain their local and transnational networks compared with migrants who felt they belonged nowhere or only in Spain. Not only did they extend their repertoires with new social media, they also adapted how they used platforms to the media environment in Iceland. In this way, social media facilitated a sense of local and transnational belonging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2023


  • Belonging
  • co-presence
  • highly qualified migrants
  • Iceland
  • Intra-European migration
  • personal networks
  • polymedia
  • social media
  • Spain


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