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Utopian imaginaries of San Francisco among tech-entrepreneurs
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0353-6823
2015 (English)In: Mig 002: presentation med abstract, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper takes its starting point from a research project studying Swedish tech-entrepreneurs, living and working in Europe and in the US. Sweden has in recent years been playing a relevant role in the internet/tech-field with successful companies such as for example Skype and Spotify. The paper sets out to investigate San Francisco, as both an actual and an imagined place. Migrating to San Francisco (and/or Silicon Valley) is for the internet/tech-community primarily associated with opportunities for success - and it is for many entrepreneurs in the field regarded as the ultimate location to live and work. How is San Francisco constructed as a mythical, imagined place that holds relevance for the tech scene? And how is this image mediated in different channels such as for example social and traditional media? The social ideal of making a difference in a global context can be regarded as an important value for the Internet/tech community but the utopian image of San Francisco as the most important global tech hub is at the same time challenged by the city's social problems such as poverty and segregation. How do the skilled migrants of the transnational network that is the tech community experience this conflict? Including perspectives from both residents and prospective residents of San Francisco/Silicon Valley, this paper explores envisioned migration, as well as actual everyday life and concrete experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Tech-entrepreneurs, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sweden, Migration, Utopias
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127456OAI: diva2:909234
SIEF 2015. Utopias, Realities, Heritages: Ethnographies for the 21st Century. Zagreb 21-25 June 2015
Åke Wiberg Foundation
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2016-03-07

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Wiklund, Lisa
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Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies

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