About the Project


Young Believers Online - mapping on- and offline identifications of urban religious youth

We at YouBeOn want to investigate how the religious life of young people takes place in on- and offline spaces. What kind of religious content do people watch on social media? What role does one's own religious believes play in one's online profiles? How does religious life online influence religiosity offline? Are there differences or similarities between different religions, and how does this all play out in a multi-religious city such as Vienna?

Those are the questions we want to focus on in our interviews with religious Insta-users (if you visit our own Insta-page @You_Be_On, you might find some hints, showing the unconventional methods we use). The conversations centre on the life of participants in general, social media activities and daily life in Vienna. Of course, all the informations gathered will be strictly anonymised. If you think, that might be something for you, have a look at our participate page.

This information will help us to see the connections between the religious worlds on- and offline, which we will highlight on a digital, explorable map of Vienna. Which offline spaces are important for religious life online? Where do people with different religious backgrounds meet in daily life and what does this translate to online? Those and many other questions relating to the on- and offline daily life of young religious people can be explored through this digital tool.


Research Design

Duration: Sept 2020-Sept 2022
Funding: Innovation Fund Research, Science and Society

YouBeOn is an interdisciplinary, explorative research project interested in the conceptualization and visualization of on- and offline identifications of urban religious youth. Although growing awareness of their own diversity in terms of religion, ethnicity and language has become a characteristic feature of many European societies, political responses to this superdiversity are often one-dimensional attempts to pin down a collective identity. In stark contrast, we see that young people growing up in diverse urban areas make identifications in multiple, flexible ways, both in their physical surroundings and in digital spaces.

YouBeOn asks how young religious people in superdiverse urban settings negotiate their multiple belonging on- and offline, and uses innovative methods and digital tools to answer this question. Building on the increased interest in belonging - both in terms of “religious belonging” and “politics of belonging” - we explore processes of identification to contribute to the conceptualization of an often used, but under-theorized approach.

YouBeOn will re-conceptualize the multiplicity and multi-layeredness of belonging, also by means of visualization. Together with experts in Digital Humanities, we will develop an application that visualizes links between physical locations, online activities and individual constructions of belonging. Through participatory research methods, we collaborate with young people and acknowledge them as agents and stakeholders in the research process.