Nowadays, people get an opportunity to live in two different worlds simultaneously: reality and cyberspace. Cyberspace is a huge, global domain that has an access to any electronic technology and allows controlling all communication systems. It is not only about the Internet and about phone calls.
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Cyberspace plays more important role that aims to control any infrastructure and help people exchange different sorts of information. It is necessary to admit that cyberspace, the Internet in particular, affects considerably the development of diasporas and other communities. In this work, two articles, which cover the idea of Diasporas, cyberspace, and their interconnection, will be analyzed.
Victoria Bernal, the author of Eritrea On-Line: Diaspora, Cyberspace, and the Public Sphere, concentrates on such processes as transnationalism and globalization, and new forms of mobility, which can change the conditions in public spheres, and takes www.dehai.com as an example.
Mark P. Whitaker, the author of Tamilnet.com: Some Reflections on Popular Anthropology, Nationalism, and the Internet, analyzes a new agency, www.Tamilnet.com, its objectives, and activities as one of the examples of anthropology on the Internet.
The authors of both articles speculate upon the issues about the role of the Internet communication in different communities, the content that such sites as www.Tamilnet.com and www.dehai.com present, and the effect such information make on the reader. To my mind, rising of such questions as the importance and role of the Internet in our everyday life is a bit boring, however, their ideas and propositions seem rather convincing.
Bernal (2005) describes several links, which connect Diaspora and cyberspace. One of them is “displacement”; another is “community”, as a new form of social belonging. This author backs up the works of Lax and Castells in order to underline that Diasporas try to hide “the local and the global as they operate in and across social fields.” (Bernal 2005) Eritreans in Diaspora have an opportunity to share interesting information, advertize their community, attract the attention of other people, comment on world events and novelties, etc.
In his turn, Mark Whitaker presents interesting facts about the content and visitors of the site www.Tamilnet.com. He concentrates on anthropology as a type of ethnography lots of American anthropologists prefer to write about. It is correctly admitted that numerous newspapers of Sri Lanka both in Tamil and in English always use the data presented on this site; this fact simply proves the success and reliability of the work of www.Tamilnet.com.
One of the common issues for both these article is the fact that cyberspace are helpful with solving different kinds of conflict without physical losses. Such approach is good indeed.
Violence on www.dehai.org and www.Tamilnet.com helps to ensure nation’s survival indeed. The war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the methods, which were used to solve this problem, may serve as a good example of peaceful purposes of cyberspace in Diasporas. In general, the objectives of such sites, even if they sound a bit ironically, are to support nationalists’ interests and prevent conflicts.
Cyberspace, the Internet in particular, helps small groups and Diasporas to talk about their interests and preferences to the whole world. This is why news agencies, official sites, and forums are created day by day. www.Tamilnet.com and www.dehai.com are one of the brightest examples, which were described by two writers – Mark Whitaker and Victoria Bernal. All this information is perfectly grounded, and the actions of those Diasporas should serves as good examples for other communities.
Bernal, V. (2005). Eritrea On-Line: Diaspora, Cyberspace, and the Public Sphere. American Ethnologist, 32 (4), 660-675.
Whitaker, M. P. (2004). Tamilnet.com: Some Reflections on Popular Anthropology, Nationalism, and the Internet. Courtesy. Anthropological Quarterly, 77 (3), 469-498.