Belorussova S. Cyberdiaspora: An Analytical Review
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
ABSTRACT. Diasporas play a significant role in the positioning of the “ethnic Internet”, for which virtuality replaces one of the foundations of ethnicity, i.e. territorial unity. The Internet can create a “sense of place” and give migrants and dispersed groups “a sense of unity and involvement in cultural traditions.” At the same time, virtual networks make it easier for community members not sharing the same space to gather in the physical realm. This article reviews the author’s position regarding the formation of cyberdiasporas, their experiences of functioning and interpersonal interactions. As the research results show, cyberspace as the “land of nowhere” allows “constantly rebuilding and remaking relations with the motherland.” Thanks to virtualization, “digital diasporas” have autonomy and form their own community presentation strategies. At the same time, the image of a group is also constructed from the outside, which affects the internal integrity and self-consciousness of the community.
KEYWORDS: diaspora, cyberdiaspora, virtual space, virtual ethnicity, cyberethnography
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