Difference and the Internet: When Ethnic Community Goes On-line
The idea of virtual community is embedded in a deep matrix of McLuhan’s Global Village and the dominant Western cultural influence, Although there is space on-line for an infinite number of virtual communities, they tend to reflect real-world groupings and organizations based on notions of difference. In this context, difference can be seen as perceived variation based on dissimilar characteristics where groupings resemble communities in which members share at least one common interest. And it is this sense of difference that informs our exploration of “virtual ethnicity” (Poster, 1999) in an on-line environment we call Serbia.web. Ethnicity is one such common intersection that helps define a community. Ethnicity is often tied to bioregionality, common geographical colocation, and it is a struggle to maintain ethnic ties as groups spread across the globe under the influence of events such as those in the former Yugoslavia, and in Afghanistan. Since large movements of different ethnic groups around the world are almost commonplace for diasporic reasons, ethnic groups are often faced with the tension of assimilating to new regions and maintaining a sense of ethnic identity. Many groups cultivate on-line communities to ensure that their ethnic identity will not be lost by developing, and participating in, on-line communities.
KeywordsEurope Assimilation Arena
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Agre, P. (1999). “Life After Cyberspace.” EASST Review 18 (2/3). Retrieved January 27, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.chem.uva.nl/easst/easst993.html.
- Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Baym, N. (1999). “The Emergence of On-line Community.” In Cybersociety 2.0, ed. S. Jones. London: Sage, pp. 35–68.Google Scholar
- Bell, David. (2001). An Introduction to Cybercultures. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Coyne, Richard. (1999). Technoromanticism: Digital Narrative, Holism, and the Romance of the Real. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Dodge, Martin and Rob Kitchin. (2001). Mapping Cyberspace. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hongladarom, S. (1998). “Global Culture, Local Cultures, and the Internet.” In Proceedings Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology ’98, ed. C. Ess and F. Sudweeks. Australia: University of Sydney, pp. 231–245.Google Scholar
- Kollock, Peter. “Design Principles for Online Communities.” PC Update 15:5 (1998): 58–60.Google Scholar
- Mitra, A. (1997). “Virtual Commonality: Looking for India on the Internet.” In Virtual Culture, ed. S. Jones. London: Sage, pp. 55–79.Google Scholar
- Noble, David. (1997). The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
- Ostrom, Elinor. (1990). “Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action.” In The Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions, ed. J. Alt and D. North. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Pargman, D, (1998). “Reflections on Cultural Bias and Adaptation.” In Proceedings Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology V8, ed. C. Ess and F. Sudweeks. Australia: University of Sydney, pp. 81–99.Google Scholar
- Poster, M. (1999). “Virtual Ethnicity: Tribal Identity in an Age of Global Communications.” In Cybersociety 2.0, ed. S. Jones. London: Sage, pp. 184–211.Google Scholar
- Rheingold, H. (1993). Virtual Communities. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
- Stubbs, P. (1998). “Conflict and Co-operation in the Virtual Community: Email and the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession.” Sociological Research Online 3:3, retrieved July 7, 1999 from the World Wide Web: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/socresonline/3/3/7.html.
- —. (1999). “Virtual Diaspora? Imagining Croatia On-Line.” Sociological Research Online, 4:2, retrieved July 14, 1999 from the World Wide Web: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/socresonline/4/2/stubbs.html.
- Voiskousky, A. (1998). “Internet: Culture Diversity and Unification.” In Proceedings Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology ’98, ed. C. Ess and F. Sudweeks. Australia: University of Sydney, pp. 100–115.Google Scholar
- Wellman, B. and M. Gulia. (1999). “Virtual Communities as Communities: Net Surfers don’t Ride Alone.” In Communities in Cyberspace, ed. M. Smith and P. Kollock. London: Routledge, pp. 167–194.Google Scholar