[Air-L] Subaltern counter publics online?

Mukherjee, Ishani imukhe2 at uic.edu
Mon Jan 31 14:02:05 PST 2011

Hi Koen,

For my dissertation, I am currently looking at how ethno-cultural
narratives are created in online communities (spec. blogs that discuss
domestic violence within the South Asian dispora in the US), from the
perspectives of ethnic-community empowerment and identity negotiation.  I
haven't looked at Nancy Fraser's work yet, but I have come across research
that reworks the public/private debate, esp. in the context of creating
minority counter-publics online, often working from within the dominant
discursive spaces.

You can perhaps refer to Rohit Chopra's work, "Global primordialities:
virtual identity politics in online Hindutva and online Dalit discourse,"
which looks at the intersection of technology and culture in  online
representations (community websites) of the elite/dominant Hindu
nationalist community and the subaltern Dalit community (New Media &
Society, 2006, vol. 8/2, pp. 187-206).

You can also try: Mallapragada, M. (2006). Home, Homeland, Homepage:
Belonging and the Indian-American web. New Media and Society, 8(2), pp.
She talks about how online interactions/communities of ethnic minorities
often ruptures the public/private, gender-race divide/politics, and
creates not only geo-political, but also rhetorical transgressions and

I hope these help and prove interesting for your purposes.


Ishani Mukherjee
Doctoral Candidate
Dept. of Communication, UIC

On Mon, January 31, 2011 9:37 am, Leurs, K.H.A. (Koen) wrote:
> Dear all,
> I have recently regained an interest in Nancy Fraser's reworking of
> Habermas' notion of the public sphere. Especially her writings on
> 'subaltern counter publics' where people circulate views that critically
> engage with mainstream/dominant public spheres have caught my attention
> as they seem to capture nicely the dynamics of certain online discussion
> boards that fall below the radar. For instance dedicated discussion
> boards set up and frequented by ethnic minorities.
> However, I was wondering if anyone on the list uses a similar lens in
> her/his work and/or is currently engaged with the work of Fraser or
> similar?
> Kind regards,
> Koen Leurs
> www.koenleurs.net
> www.uu.nl/wiredup
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