Connecting India: Virtual and Real Linkages between the Telugu Diaspora and their Home Region in Andhra Pradesh

Author: 
Maudi Heerink

Connecting India: Virtual and Real Linkages between the Telugu Diaspora and their Home Region in Andhra Pradesh

Author: Maudi Heerink

ABSTRACT

This research report studies a specific group of Indian migrants -- the Telugu diaspora from the Guntur region -- and follows their online interactions with people residing in Guntur.  The main purpose of the study was to chart out online networks that link the two groups and, using select case studies, to examine the developmental outcomes of these online networks in the ‘real world’. The intercultural ‘bridgespace diagram’ is used as a method to visualise the range of websites that are visited, created and maintained by Telugu migrants and Telugus living in their home region, in order to study their connections. The main research question addressed is: How do Telugu migrants and Telugus living in their home region in India use the internet to create new ties or to strengthen existing ties, and to what extent is this use of ‘virtual space’ related to their activities in ‘real space’?