Development and Urbanization
Laos, as other Southeast Asian countries, is undergoing rapid socio-economic mutations that imply increasing migrations flows. Young people from rural areas settle down in the capital city of Vientiane with the hope to get access to better work or educational opportunities as well as to “modernity”. Focusing on youths from the Hmong ethnic group, my research aims to understand how moving to urban area implies a redefinition of the self, as familiar norms are inevitably challenged. Living in the city generates a higher use of technologies including social media due to increased access and the necessity of social relationship building. Moreover, Huijsmans and Tran (2015) showed that the use of online social networks became a key element of youth in Laos. In this context, it is worth exploring the roles social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) play as spaces where young people can perform their subjectivities. Based on data collected during online and offline fieldwork, this paper aims to explore the self-presentation online among the young Hmong migrants experiencing urbanity in Vientiane.