Wednesday, May 04, 2005

About the Research

Put simply, my somewhat ambitious research question sounds something like this:

In what ways does the Internet influence one's cultural identity and sense of belonging, and can we speak of an emerging cosmopolitan culture because of all this?


My interest lies especially in the theory of Late Modernity (see for instance, Anthony Giddens) and the idea that unlike the essentialist view on identity, where we all contain one true self, nowadays we all own a whole repertoire of identities, which we can wear as what suits best to the situation. We all like to tell a story about ourselves, as part of a reflexive discourse among ourselves, and in order to place ourselves in relation to others.

Speaking of cultural identity, I take on Stuart Hall's idea that it is not constructed only of where we come from and our roots, but also where we are and where we will be going in the future. The routes which we walk are therefore equally as essential as the roots from which we come from.

People like John Tomlinson also speak of the media and it's ability to "deterritorialise" - referring not to having land expropriated, but rather as the idea of people being "lifted out" from their surroundings and context to interact with an environment elsewhere. Can the Internet then, being reflective of cultures, deterritorialise us and help us keep in touch with past homes and thereby keep our transnational identity intact? With the Internet spreading over such a vast number of countries, can the rubbing of these against each other create new spaces, new cultures and new identities?

For now, I'm breaking this all up into tiny, tiny bits. Hopefully then, and with your help, I'll be able to come up with a potential answer.

9 Comments:

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Hi there Elizabeth!! I have posted a comment on your first post. :) Merry CHristmas and a happy new year,
Katherine.

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