The German Internet Portal Indernet


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The German Internet Portal Indernet

  1. 1. Prepared for 2009 Graduate seminarInformation Society & Multiculturalism (prof. Han Woo Park),at Yeungnam Univ. in S. Korea<br />The German Internet Portal Indernet<br />A Space for Multiple Belongingness<br />By UrmilaGoel<br />Presented by Kim KyoungEun<br /><br />8. October 2009<br />
  2. 2. &lt;Indians in Germany&gt; &lt;foreigners in Germany&gt; <br /> Turks (1,900,000)<br /> Yugoslavia (930,000)<br /> Italians (565,000)<br /> Greeks (350,000)<br /> Poles (260,000)<br /> Austrians (185,000).<br /> - About 25 % of these foreign residents, most of whom were born in Germany, <br /> are under the age of eighteen. <br /><br /> from wikipedia<br />
  3. 3. Difference sensitive internet studies<br />▶ In the initial phase of Internet, people think that <br /> Internet can be possible not only world wide communication seems possible, but it also seems that users can change their identity online, <br /> thus overcoming boundaries faced offline. <br />▶ The discussion about the ‘digital divide’began analyzing how certain regions of the world and groups of people are barred from using the Internet. <br /> There is ‘Western bias’ not only in the technology, but also in Internet studies. <br />
  4. 4. Difference sensitive internet studies<br />▶ The racialized identities matter in virtual space<br /> lead to necessity of internationalization on the Internet studies. <br />▶The writer of this chapter focused on the socially constructed lines of differences of colonialism, racism, gender, heteronormartivity, and class which determine the access of people to resources, and power and are theorized in postcolonial racism, critical whiteness, and gender studies. <br />
  5. 5. Difference sensitive internet studies<br />▶ The power structure dominated by “white” male heterosexual middle class researchers from the “west” can be observed in Internet studies. <br />▶ Of course, the web has no central point, no capital city. But, most people find their way around by starting with Yahoo (, <br /> or one of the search engines, such as Altavista ( <br /> - Arguing that the web has “no central point, no capital city” ignores the fact that web access and the production of web content is not distributed equally across the world and among people. <br />
  6. 6. Difference sensitive internet studies<br />▶ Racism, like “digital divide” is referred to just once. <br /> Those marginalized by racist power structures are further marginalized in the structure of the book by being considered as deviations from this unchallenged norm. <br />▶ English is no longer<br /> the dominant language<br /> on the Internet, <br /> even if it remains dominant<br /> in mainstream research. <br />
  7. 7. Difference sensitive internet studies<br />⇒ a particular virtual space: the Internet portal called the Indernet. <br />▶ The writer of this chapter argue that “Indians of second generation” are othered and excluded in “Germany”, and that the Indernet is a space to deal with this. <br />▶ In the Indernet, their use of German as main language is something “natural” and is not a particular choice. <br /> : The editors and users know best and feel most comfortable with German. <br />
  8. 8. The Indernet<br />▶ The Indernet forms a virtual space of “Indian of the second generation” for “Indians of the second generation” in German-speaking Europe, localized geographically both by the use of language and topics. <br />▶ Indernet<br /> : Internet portal <br /> : offer to young Germans interact in forum about films, music, parties, and politics <br /> : German is the main language of this portal <br />
  9. 9. The Indernet<br /> - the mastimonial website<br /> - the sports portal<br />The mailing list GINDS<br />⇒ Each of these space targets different audiences and fulfils different functions <br /> However, they are not mutually exclusive. <br />▶ Eventhough the Indernet is a virtual space using the German language, and a space where issues of interest in “Germany” are discussed by people, it is defined as an “Indian” space. <br />
  10. 10. The Indernet<br />▶ The founder of Indernet<br />: Our target group is primarily the generation of young Indians living in Germany. <br />: The English slogan of Indernet<br /> “Germany’s premier NRI(Non-Resident Indians) portal”<br />▶ Indernet links both to “India” and to the worldwide “Indian diaspora”<br /> -&gt; Indernet provide English and Hindi version of the portal<br /> : the symbolic rather than pragmatic character of the trilinguality. <br />
  11. 11. A &apos;space of the second generation’<br />▶ Indernet is <br /> a “space of the second generation” in Germany. <br /> : there are also several active “white” users, many “white” luckers, and some “Indians of the first generation”.<br />⇒ Accordingly, the Indernet can be simultaneously an own space of the “Indians of the second generation” and an informational portal on “India” for “white” users. <br />
  12. 12. A &apos;space of the second generation’<br />▶ analysis of the Indernet<br />: Indernet created in 2000<br />: sixty interviews with founders, editors, users, and observers. <br /> ⇒ Indernet was the first interactive and dynamic virtual space for “Indians of the second generation”.<br />▶ the residents marked as “Indian” in “Germany” are still a comparatively small group. <br />: In 2003, there was about 43,500 Indian citizen, an estimated 17,500 PIO card holders, and uncounted, undocumented “Indians”.<br />
  13. 13. A &apos;space of the second generation’<br />▶ In an attempt to escape racism, Many sought to assimilate in the workplace, at school, and other public places, while struggling to preserve their “culture” at home. <br />-&gt; The “second generation” experiences that, while they belong to both context, they are not granted unquestioned belongingness to either. <br />▶The three founders of Indernet know that “Indians of the second generation” were interested in meeting others who had similar experiences as theirs. <br />-&gt; they took up the German play on words, merging “Indians” and Internet, and named their portal Indernet<br />
  14. 14. A ‘space of the second generation’<br />▶ Already several years back the Indernet had established itself as the major medium of the “second generation”, known to people who do not use it – and about which comparatively much is written in other media and research. <br />▶ As formulated in December 2000, the Indernet’s aim, was to build a network of “Indians of the second generation”<br /> : Our aim is to bring together young Indians, to promote communication among each other, to Inform about projects of our members and about the country India as such. <br />
  15. 15. A &apos;space of the second generation’<br />▶ The editors of Indernet write articles about issues that they believe the “second generation” is interested in.<br />: In the Interviews, the Indernet was described to me by most as a space of “Indians of the second generation”, where there is no need to explain, where one can build on shared experiences, joke together, and feel a sense of familiarity. <br /> : Its popularity was helped by the fascination of many young “ Indians of the second generation” with the medium of the Internet, its easy accessibility with few resources, and the possibility of users creating their own public. <br />
  16. 16. A space for multiple belongingness<br />▶ The unmarked norm in Germany is that any person univocally belongs to one “nation”, “ethnicity”, or “culture”. <br /> -&gt; Accordingly, most people can hardly think of anyone belonging to more than one natio-ethno-cultural context. <br />▶ “Other Germans” <br />: “ Indians of the second generation” like other “migrants of the second generation”, rather than being accepted in their multiple belongingness, are faced with exclusion, othering, and discrimination. <br />
  17. 17. A space for multiple belongingness<br />▶ On the Indernet, “ Indians of the second generation” are not othered on the basis of their multiple natio-ethno-cultural belongingness. <br />-&gt; On the Indernet, the “ Indians of the second generation” are safe from being othered as “ Indians of the second generation”<br />-&gt; Without explicitly talking about these issue, they can be have had similar experiences. <br />-&gt; Users can hardly experience in other spaces in “Germany”. <br />▶ The Indernet is also different from the spaces created by the parents, who migrated from “south Asia”.<br /> : traditional, natural vs. modern, civilized <br />
  18. 18. A space for multiple belongingness<br />▶ Both in the editorial sections and the forum, the Indernet offers information about “India” and “India in Germany”. <br /> - The information fits the needs of young users.<br /> (films, parties and “India”)<br />▶ By defining the natio-ethno-cultural belongingness on the Indernet as “Indian”, it also offers the evocation of univocal belongingness without negating the multiple belongingness experienced by “Indians of the second generation”.<br />
  19. 19. A space for multiple belongingness<br />▶ By referring to a “transnational identity” and by offering a space to imagine themselves as “Indians”, the Indernet deals with experiences in “Germany”. <br /> - “ Indians of the second generation” are socialized in “Germany”; German is the language they know best. <br /> -&gt; The Indernet takes account of this by linking the imagination of an “Indian identity” with the German language. <br />
  20. 20. Dealing with othering and exclusion<br />▶ In a world shaped by racism, heteronormativity, and class differences, those who fall outside of the norm defined through hegemonic power experience constant othering and exclusion. <br />-&gt; Accordingly, the othered people look for and develop alternative spaces. <br />▶ The virtual spaces cater to multiple belongingness for several seemingly contradicting “identity”.<br />-&gt; The virtual space gives them the possibility to link scattered individuals, of creating an own public, and imagining a community. <br />
  21. 21. Dealing with othering and exclusion<br />▶ They need to deal with the diversity of online interactions as a replication of differences in the physical world. <br />▶ Internet studies need to take account of the methods, theories, and approaches developed by postcolonial, racism, critical whiteness, and gender studies. <br />
  22. 22. A space for Koreans in Germany<br />Website for<br />the Korean of <br />second generation in<br /> Germany <br />K.I.N.D<br /> <br />
  23. 23. Thank you for your attention!<br />Presented by Kim KyoungEun<br /><br />