Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are now an inescapable part of everyday life as well as an integral element to large scale political-economic change. In this close-up study of pioneering and longstanding Internet discussion forums, M.I. Franklin explores the practice of everyday life in cyberspace. The author traces how the online practices and discussions of postcolonial and diasporic communities rearticulate the gendered, political, ethnic and cultural dimensions of daily lives, political and cultural issues on the ground. In a neoliberal global era, however, the possibilities for intercultural and intracultural empowerment emerging through these sorts of Internet uses have to contend with political-economic and sociocultural pressures from all sides. Franklin argues that Pacific traversals in public, open cyberspace trace another possible future for the Internet; more hospitable and equitable than the one being currently put in place by political and economic power-brokers.
This book will be of interest to students of international relations/international political economy, anthropology, cultural studies, science and technology studies.
Postcolonial Politics, The Internet, and Everyday Life represents scholarship of the future. That is, it takes seriously how a group of people usually not heard from in mainstream academia (the South Pacific diaspora) utilizes a contemporary means of communication (the Internet) to articulate and formulate a subject rarely discussed in liberal democratic theory (collective identity in a globalized, post-sovereign world). Postcolonial Politics thus views democratization, as it should, from inside-out and bottom-up. It is a perspective too often ignored in the practice of world politics as well as the study of it. Marianne Franklin, in short, sets the record straight. L.H.M. Ling, The New School, USA Reappropriating Global-Speak; rearticulating gender, ethnic and cultural identities; re-imagining place as communicative space; and retrieving the agency of everyday on-line and off-line lives: these are the cyberspatial practices engaged in by postcolonial and diasporic Pacific Islanders that Marianne Franklin identifies in her tale of an "other" internet. Through this methodologically unique exploration of translocal negotiations of identity and political agency, Franklin offers us new meanings of self and community in resistance to technostrategic trajectories and erasures. Likening this "other" internet to the "oceans within" Pacific Islander consciousness, she takes us to new "shorelines" of feminist postcolonial inquiry. Anne Sisson Runyan, University of Cincinnati, USA Franklin makes a valuable contribution to the growing field of internet studies. Too much policy and research is stuck on one side or the other of the structure-agency dualism. While other ethnographic studies of the internet are sensitive to global concerns, Franklin?s strength is that she brings together a politically-informed analysis of the ways in which the internet is implicated in globalisation with a very subtle, nuanced exploration of the everyday practices of internet use by an economically marginal group of people, namely Pacific Islanders. Sally Wyatt, ASCoR, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Franklin delves into the online worlds of Pacific Islanders and brings us their postcolonial voices in all their richness and complexity; voices that are too often silenced ?offline? yet reveal so much about fundamental issues such as power, gender and identity. By framing the book with her critical analysis of information and communications technologies (ICTs) from an international relations/international political economy perspective, Franklin skilfully demonstrates the ways in which ICTs are shaping the postcolonial, globalized world while simultaneously being co-opted by users such as diasporic Pacific Islanders for their own ends No neat conclusions here, and nor should there be, but plenty of food for thought and, with a generous sprinkling of direct quotes - hilarious, furious, honest, wise, confronting and always insightful - a thoroughly enjoyable read. Helen Lee, La Trobe University, Australia If culture means the ways people make sense of their place and time in the world, and if anthropology's distinctive contribution the study of such ways has been based on ethnography -- meeting culture-makers on their own ground and terms -- then this book must count as a pioneering work. It transports research to a field whose reality is in no way denied by calling it virtual. It is an inspiring example to follow, all the more remarkable because the author is "technically" not an anthropologist. Johannes Fabian, Amsterdam School of Social Research, The Netherlands