Veröffentlichungen von Urmila Goel / Desis in Deutschland

Forschungsprojekt "Die virtuelle zweite Generation"

Urmila Goel

The virtual space of belongingness Indernet - A long-term observation

Paper presented at the Conference: Digital Crossroads. Media, Migration and Diaspora in a transnational Perspective. 28th to 30th June 2012. Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

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The German-language internet portal Indernet was founded in 2000 by 'Indians of the second generation' for 'Indians of the second generation' in Germany. In the middle of the 2000s it was at its height, connecting a high proportion of 'Indians of the second generation' in Germany and abroad, actively used by editors, posters and lurkers, observed by mainstream media and researchers, providing a space of natio-ethno-cultural belongingness as well as a representation of 'India'. In the late 2000s the Indernet seemed quite dead with hardly any activity online. But at the beginning of 2012 the Indernet is still there - in several different forms. The portal has just been converted into a blog, interlinked with a facebook page, there is a facebook group initiated by users and an independent forum, which was founded by users during a technical crisis. Many users kept contact, not only with each other, but also with the Indernet, even through the periods of almost absent online interaction and are involved in the spin-offs of the former internet portal. Furthermore, the Indernet has produced diverse sustainable ramifications- former editors have made their hobby into an occupation, 'Indians of the second generation' founded their own networks, a feeling of natio-ethno-cultural belongingness is still there, friendships as well as intimate partnerships have been founded.

Based on critical racism theory and using ethnographic observations of the Indernet since the beginning in the year 2000 as well as interviews the paper will analyse the long term effects on community formation and networking initiated through the Indernet. It will discuss the developments, which are visible online as well as those which come to notice in individual interactions. A particular focus will be put on the longevity both of the virtual space and the attachment of its (former) users and editors to it.

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Urmila Goel, 2014