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Regular version of the site

Article

Веб-этнография и киберэтничность

Уральский исторический вестник. 2018. Т. 58. № 1. С. 100-108.
Головнёв А. В., Белоруссова С. Ю., Киссер Т. С.

The cyber-space is more than just the refl ection of the real ethnic composition of society, its gives
birth to a new cyber-ethnicity. Its study requires the use of the adequate web-ethnography which
is not reduced to the use of a computer or other gadgets, but also involves physical observation of
the ways in which virtual reality is being built into our everyday life. As much as possible it is necessary
to study the real (off -line) and the virtual (on-line) ethnicity in their relationships and disparities
— using real individuals and communities as the case studies. The most intensive cyberactivity
is demonstrated by the communities, fi rst of all the diasporas and the ethnic minorities,
which try to compensate through the net the defi cit of the real-life territorial proximity and communication.
In fact the Internet substitutes for one of the bases of ethnicity which was formerly
known as the “unity of the territory”. The motivation for the representation and the estimable positioning
of one's own culture in the web-environment gives rise to a kind of ethno-Renaissance
(with the elements of ethno-competition). The Internet off ers a convenient platform for the evolution
of ethnicity at the expense of the individual ethno-projects. The described herein cases of
the Nagaibak and the Germans demonstrate that the intensive cyber-activity is characteristic for
the people who left their native regions and are trying to compensate for their real-life remoteness
from them with the virtual activity. These people, estranged from their native communities,
sometimes even play the role of the apparent ethnicity leaders, acting however not in the “distant
emigration”, but in the momentarily and in a neighborly way accessible Web-environment.