Forschungsprojekt: Die virtuelle zweite Generation

UTS: Trans/forming Cultures


…a study of global connections shows the grip of encounter: friction. A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere… As a metaphorical image, friction reminds us that heterogeneous and unequal encounters can lead to new arrangements of culture and power.

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Friction:
An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton UP, 2004, p.5.

CULTURAL FRICTIONS is a project of the transforming cultures research centre. The project seeks to examine how modern societies increasingly experience contradictions generated by the tensions between claims to secularism, equality and rationality, and the realities of cultural hierarchies, social inequalities and resurgent social movements, some based on religious affiliation. The project will place these questions in comparative settings in order exploring the challenges generated by these frictions, and varying governmental and cultural responses to them.

The core of the project explores the disjuncture between cultural friction and cultural citizenship – the sense of fear and apprehension associated with cultural differences as conflict and threat on the one hand, and the celebration and encouragement of cultural exploration and assertion on the other. The concept of cultural citizenship points to a terrain of meaning making, of identity formation, resistance and creation in the flows and folds of the contemporary world.

The first seminar will be held from

11.30 - 1 pm on
Wednesday 15th of November
Transforming Cultures, Building 2, level 7 765
University of Technology, Sydney
Broadway Campus

Enquiries: TFC Administrative Manager 
Jonathan Marshall 
 Phone: 02 9514 2309


Dr. Urmila Goel
Visiting Scholar at the Asia Centre, University of New England
Department for Cultural and Social Anthropology, European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder, Germany

Dealing with experiences of racism:
The German internet portal Indernet

‘Indians of the second generation’ in Germany experience racism on a daily basis, mostly not in a violent open but rather subtle implicit way. Individuals develop different strategies in dealing with these experiences. They stretch from the total negation of any such experience on the one extreme to the full resistance and anti-racist action on the other.

The internet portal Indernet can be seen as a space for the (implicit) negotiation of the experiences and to develop strategies of coping. The Indernet was established in the summer of 2000 by three young ‘Indians of the second generation’ to provide a platform for communication and information to other ‘Indians of the second generation’ in Germany. Rather than addressing issues of racism explicitly the Indernet refers to a common ‘Indian’ identity and aims to build a community. There is no explicit political agenda.

The paper will analyse in which ways the Indernet is nonetheless a space dealing with experiences of racism. It will discuss how racism, which is determined through international and national discourses and experienced locally, is dealt with by referring to a transnational context and struggling with the requirements of the logic of national unambiguity.

Urmila Goel is currently a visiting scholar at the Asia Centre of the University of New England in Armidale. She is a researcher in cultural and social anthropology affiliated to the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. Urmila is working on the research project ‘The virtual second generation – On the negotiation of ethnicity on the internet’. Her research interests cover the construction of ethnic identities, othering and racism, second generation migrants, migration from South Asia to Germany as well as the role of the internet in this. For more information please visit

Presentation as pdf

© Urmila Goel, 2006