An investigation into how Algerian women living in the United Kingdom, negotiate social activities and cultural practices within virtual Third Spaces

  • Fatima Zahra Zahaf

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores the Third Spaces developed by a group of Algerian female migrants, who migrated to the United Kingdom. The research captures the online activities and cultural practices of this group of women in the context of migration. The research participants are 12 Algerian women from the first generation of migration. This enabled me to see how their merged identities – relating to home culture and host culture – occur.

Data were collected using an online discussion board on a Facebook group created for the purpose of collecting the data for this research. The first part of the online discussion board is devoted to the online activity discussions, while the second part is for the discussions related to life in the UK. This was followed by semi-structured interviews. Verbal data were transcribed to facilitate thematic analysis; generating codes and building themes. The epistemology guiding this research is interpretivism: constructivism.

This research links migration theories, the concept of home, acculturation strategies, and imagined communities to Third Space. Due to the widespread use of social media, there is now a possibility to explore virtual Third Spaces, and the possibility of linking the previously mentioned concepts to the virtual world, which enables new understandings of their implications. The findings showed that the Algerian female migrants are creating virtual Third Spaces: social, cultural, and academic and professional.

The research findings showed the possibility of creating virtual Third Spaces as a form of virtual homes, virtual social networks, virtual transnational social spaces, and virtual imagined communities which play a significant role in the process of migration and acculturation.
Date of AwardJul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorMatthew McCormack (Supervisor), Dave Burnapp (Supervisor) & Sonya Andermahr (Supervisor)


  • migration
  • virtual third space
  • acculturation
  • integration
  • home
  • imagined communities
  • Algerian online communities
  • online spaces
  • digital migration

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