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Minnesota 2.0 Project collection

Identifier: IHRC3908


Begun in September of 2009, Minnesota 2.0 aimed to document and understand how 1.5 and 2nd generation Mexican, Somali, and Hmong youth used social networking sites to express their emerging sense of identity and social connection – to Minnesota and the United States, to their parents and communities, to each other, and to the homelands from which their families arrived. Collection consists of 3 CD-Rs, 1 DVD (restricted), two binders and one file folder containing resource materials for the project.


  • 2010

Language of Materials



Selected materials are restricted.


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The students involved in the project — six undergraduates as well as well two graduate students — spent the majority of the project time “reading” Facebook. They were focusing on the more publicly accessible Fan Pages and Groups initiated by the three ethnic groups, in order to see how themes such as the following ones are discussed and debated: · Ethnic identity and pride, as well as connections across a given diaspora · Gender and sexuality · Discussions about language as it relates to cultural and ethnic identity · Education · The struggles of living life as an immigrant and refugee · Homeland politics · Religion · Americanization and assimilation.

The team believed that their work overturned assumptions that social networking sites were ephemeral time-wasters that distract youth from more meaningful pursuits. Instead, they found that participating in social networking discussions, while potentially a means of distraction, opens crucial spaces for identity formation. Overall, Minnesota 2.0 has shown how much Facebook is a medium of connection, not only amongst the profiles and pages looked at, but also amongst those working on the project. Facebook and other types of Web 2.0 constitute a dynamic and wide-ranging platform for immigrant and refugee youth to shape their own identities as well as to connect with other youth — and even some adults — across Minnesota and across the world.

The “Minnesota 2.0” team: Donna Gabaccia, Project Director; Andy Wilhide, PhD Candidate, History; Justin Schell, PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature; Suk Her, Junior, Law Criminology and Deviance with a Minor in Asian American Studies; Yuridia Ramírez, Senior, History and Journalism; Beatriz Carrillo, Senior, Mass Communications; Mustafa Jumale, Senior, Sociology and African American and African Studies; Salma Hussein, Junior, Public Health, Youth Studies, and Leadership Studies; Ross Gebauer, Freshman, Spanish and Global Studies; Christopher Sandberg, Senior, Anthropology.


5 linear inches


Minnesota 2.0 is a digital archive created by the Immigration History Research Center with funding from the Fesler-Lampert Chair in the Public Humanities at the University of Minnesota in 2009-2010.

Inventory of the Minnesota 2.0 Project collection.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area