Where Am I? Locating Self and Ethnicity on the World Wide Web


Leung, Linda 2001. Where Am I? Locating Self and Ethnicity on the World Wide Web. Thesis University of East London
AuthorsLeung, Linda

The thesis undertakes pioneering work in the study of Web production, representation
and consumption through its focus on ethnic minorities. The comprehensive crosssection
of Web content discussed shows significant ethnic minority activity despite the
apparent white, Western, male and middle class profile of cyberspace. This empirical
dimension of the research not only complements the large body of theoretical work that
has been done about cyberspace, but also uses theoretical models from a range of
academic disciplines (especially media studies) to anchor its analysis of the Web.
The particularities of the Web are investigated empirically through the involvement of a
group of ethnic minority women, including myself, who were the research subjects.
This demanded methodological innovation given the comparatively minimal empirical
work that has been done on the Web and subsequently, the lack of any conventional
approaches to studying this new technology. The research was also made
methodologically complex through the educational environment and larger pilot study
of which it was part, and the resulting matrix of power relations arising from it. But it
also takes full advantage of these circumstances, and is self-reflexive in doing so, thus
creating a robust examination of the Web centred on the experiences of women from
ethnic minorities.
The research subjects' interactions with the Web are not only the basis for exploring
Web consumption, but their findings are discussed as the interface between producers
and consumers, the point of representation. This in-depth consideration of Web content
explores depictions of ethnicity in terms of the traditional representational practices of
other media and how these have been reinvented and adapted for the Web. The Web
texts also suggest how ethnic minorities are negotiating and diversifying their own
representation on the Web in response to the limits of older media industries.
The thesis does not theorise the Web as a technology of infinite possibility, because its
empirical grounding highlights the constraints as much as the strengths of the medium
in comparison to other technologies of representation. The limitations of access,
representation and even to studying the Web are examined in detail without recourse to
simplistic conclusions or recommendations.

Keywordsethnic minority women; Web production; Online representation and consumption
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1262
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Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited11 May 2011
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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