In this paper I address the virtual representation of Chileans living in England, the dynamics of the group’s online interconnectivity and the creation of boundaries based on people’s ethnicity. The discussion presented in this paper supports the idea that there are new and emergent forms of networks and communications that allow people to reconnect and strengthen relationships and furthermore facilitate the reassertion of their individuality and ethnic identity. It is within each individual to find a way to express their individualism, but this often brings them around to the core of their ethnicity, to the community where they belong, for the more individual we become, the more we long for community. Consequently, in the virtual space there is a continuous negotiation of individuality and group identification that is affected by a number of ethnic attributes. The findings presented describe a variety of ways through which Chileans in England have managed to represent themselves online, addressing their need to express their identity, thoughts, and inclinations. In many cases self-representations were used to express individuality, but also helped to strengthen their attachment to a certain group, albeit while creating boundaries reinforcing group identification.
|Keywords:||Virtual Ethnicity, Migrants’ Identity and Belonging, Ethnic Community, Internet Communication, Nethnography|
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, Bristol, Avon, UK
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