New Research Project

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.

Principal Investigator

Astrid Mattes


September 2020 to September 2022


This project is funded by the Innovation Fund Research, Science and Society