A nuclear cyberia: interfacing science, culture and ‘e-thnography’ of an Indian township’s social media

Kaur, Raminder (2016) A nuclear cyberia: interfacing science, culture and ‘e-thnography’ of an Indian township’s social media. Media, Culture & Society, 39 (3). pp. 325-340. ISSN 0163-4437

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The article’s aims are twofold – to investigate the potentials and limitations of online ethnography and to delineate the discursive dynamics of Indian technoscientific cultures as evident on a nuclear township’s online social network site. Technoscientific cultures of the south cannot be simply seen through a postcolonial lens in terms of north–south tensions over the global political economy or merely through a developmentalist paradigm. There are more complex and illuminating territories with which to appreciate such cultures through the eyes of their protagonists. I note that while Weberian trends towards bureaucratisation are discernible among Indian nuclear technocrats, there is also a considerable counter-narrative in which there is a ‘reconstitution of the cultural’ that demonstrates a strong proclivity towards reinventing particular strains of religio-cultural discourse. I illustrate these dynamics by providing an ‘e-thnography’ of the material posted on the social network site set up in 2010 by scientists who live in a nuclear township in Mumbai. In so doing, I diverge from liberal human-centric understandings of the context of media technologies to consider critical junctures where the subject interfaces with informational technologies in such a manner that notions of the centred and corporeal self dissipate, but traces of his or her embodied self remain.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 11:44
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2017 07:40
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61691
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