Digital Culture: Some Beings who Exchange Information on the Internet

By Anjali Gera Roy.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In "CyberDemocracy", Mark Poster poses the question, “What kinds of beings exchange information on this public sphere[internet]”? ) My answer to Poster’s question would be that, in addition to postmodern subjects, descendants of non-modern subjects like the jat, the Punjabi peasant, also use the internet for self-mobilizations. This corroborates that satellite television, internet and cassette technologies have put the Punjabi jat high on the international sonic map altering his position in the Indian national imaginary. I am not sure if the visibility of the jat on prime time television and the world wide web will necessarily usher “new forms of power configurations between communicating individuals”. But the jat certainly appears to be riding the digital waves in his pronounced rustic Punjabi. The exoticization of the jat in Bhangra music could be well be read within the cultural logic of late capitalism in which marginality and difference are put in the service of the celebration of a post-colonial ethic of hybridity and migrancy. How do digital technologies impact on the politics of culture? How did they alter relations of power between and within nations, classes, castes, ethnicities and regions? This paper will examine digital networks channeling Bhangra’s global flows and relocate the Punjabi harvest ritual in an economy of circulation and media convergence with the objective of introducing a disjuncture in the digital imperialism thesis.

Keywords: Cyberdemocracy, Hybridity, Subaltern, Migrancy, Circulation, Digital Networks, Digital Imperialism

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.143-152. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 544.877KB).

Prof. Anjali Gera Roy

Professor, Teaching, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, W Bengal, India

Anjali Gera Roy is Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. She has published several essays on postcolonial literature and theory in scholarly journals. She has co-edited a special issue of The Literary Criterion on “New Directions in African Writing”. Her books include Three Great African Novelists (Delhi: 2001) and Wole Soyinka: An Anthology of Recent Criticism (Delhi: 2006).

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