The internet and history: An exploration of the transmission of history by political websites

Maya Ranganathan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the context of the transmission of history being an essential part of constructing and perpetuating national identities, this article is an exploration of the way history is transmitted by the Internet. In the light of the arguments that the Internet is one of the most potent tools to construct and instil national identities among people, especially those who have moved away from the geographical boundaries of the nation, this paper highlights the ways in which history is positioned by 'unofficial' and 'official' nations in the process of constructing and perpetuating national identities. In the case of 'unofficial' nations, striving as they are to transform themselves into a nation-state and often battling oppression by another nation-state which controls mass education, the media is the only vehicle available for national identity construction and through the media they also combine elements of mass education of which transmission of history is a part. In this era of mass migrations and technological advancements, the Internet has proved to be an effective tool of national identity creation, especially as the medium enables the bypassing of the laws of the official nation-state. In the case of 'official' nations, the media in general and the Internet in particular, form an adjunct to mass education in the realm of national identity construction. This paper looks at history as constitutive of the nation, and explores how history is positioned by internet-groups to further their ideologies through the agency of political websites engaged in nation-building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-292
Number of pages14
JournalSouth Asia
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

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