E-namus? Social networking sites and conservative norms of romantic relationships among second-generation migrants in Russia
This article describes the normative system that attempts to regulate online behaviour in the sphere of premarital romantic relationships of the second-generation migrants whose parents came to Russia from societies of the South Caucasus which regulate female behaviour more strictly. Based on a mixed-method study, which included a survey, a series of semi-structured interviews and digital ethnography, we describe the norms as well as the means by which they are enforced. We show that this normative system is rooted in the cultural concept of namus, which regulates the behaviour of females, while the control function is imposed mainly on their male relatives. We argue however, that these norms are widely circumvented and e-namus (manifestation of namus on the web) can barely prevent second-generation migrant females from having online romance. This brings about a radical change in gender relations altogether. The article contributes to the literature related to offline-online normative transfer, online dating, second-generation migrants’ romantic relationships and intergenerational value change.