Facing the Nation: Creation of Internet Citizenship in the "Glocal"
Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History Bogazici University Istanbul, Turkiye
This paper will focus on one manifestation of the virtual: the Facebook. I took it as a new popular medium that enables the mimicry of the ?real? lives. Facebook is the most visited site after Google in Turkey and membership exceeds two million people from Turkey. The profile of the users seems to be young (between 15 and 30), mostly educated and predominantly middle class. Based on this profile, I will emphasize the construction of the Internet citizenship based on virtual practices and self-declaration and perception of Turkish nationalism.
The Internet as a symbol and enhancer of globalization may have cut across the physical boundaries of the nation-states yet in this case, it also contributes to redrawing of virtual maps. When the discourse of Facebook users is considered, a certain mixture of Orientalism and Occidentalism embodies the term ?crazy? which is in fact shaped by the concerns of the present. This paper argues that the dichotomy lies in many points of the discourse swinging between Orientalism and Occidentalism, the ?virtual? and the ?real,? past and future, conservation and transformation, militarism and civil politics, action and passivism, pessimism and optimism. As will be seen in the discussion of these dichotomies The sphere of the popular is, in fact, a sphere of consent and contestation for the nationalist discourses to reproduce themselves. Yet this contestation is reshaped by a new medium, the Internet, in the ?glocal? social networking sites.