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SNAPSHOT: The Digital Diaspora

The growth of digital and social media has transformed how immigrants stay connected to their homelands. But as the larger monolith of global media presents one narrative, local voices have created online communities to circulate another.

Abstract map of the world with digital code behind it

LaGuardia Community College Professor Sumanth Inukonda examined the politically active online community of the Telangana region for a new article published in the journal Global Media and Communication. Located in the south-central Indian peninsula, it provided a particularly interesting case study because “for over five decades, this region has been agitating for statehood.” The online forum helped mobilize the diaspora.

Inukonda analyzed messages posted to the TeNA online forum between September 2012 and October 2013. He found that the 912 messages posted over that time period tended to fall into five categories: mobilizing victims against enemies; asserting cultural difference; articulating relations with the host country; negotiating globalization; and conflicts over resources.

“New media can be mobilized in conflicts to help voice concerns that traditional media has avoided,” he concluded.