Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

The Indernet: A virtual ethnography

  • Dr. Urmila Goel
  • Dr. Urmila Goel
Volkswagen-Stiftung, Asia Centre, University of New England, Armidale/Australia, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
since 2004

The research project „The Indernet: A virtual ethnography" analyses the negotiation of natio-ethno-cultural belongingness in / through/ with the virtual space Indernet.

The virtual space Indernet is special for a number of reasons: Firstly, although it is linked to India through symbols and content, it uses the German language to do so. Secondly, it succeeded within a very short period to reach its target audience, the Indians of the second generation, and became an important point of reference for them. Thirdly, the internet portal survived several technical problems and many years of stagnation, achieved long-term attachment of its users and was relaunched after eleven years as a blog and facebook page.

Since its foundation in the year 2000 the Indernet was part of negotiating and changing several borders: between the children of migrants and dominant society, among the children of migrants, between contexts of belongingness, across national borders, between virtual and physical spaces, between different virtual spaces. The research project analyses these by pursuing three approaches: discussing the question of natio-ethno-cultural belongingness, describing the diversity of the virtual space and recounting the development of the space. Theoretically the research project is based in critical racism theory and combines this with methods of virtual ethnography.

Projektbeschreibung auf Deutsch