Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1489702
 
 

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Virtual (Br)Others and (Re)Sisters: Authentic Black Fraternity and Sorority Identity on the Internet


Matthew W. Hughey


University of Connecticut, Department of Sociology

October 8

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 528-560, October 2008

Abstract:     
Recently, the Internet has become the focus of immense speculation regarding the social construction of identity and cultural “authenticity.” However, examinations of virtual communities such as blogs, multiuser domains, and chat rooms have largely ignored nonwhite, especially African American, virtual communities (VCs). Through participant observation, content analysis, and personal interviews, this article analyzes a VC dedicated to members of African American fraternities and sororities, generally referred to as black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs). Findings show that BGLO virtual authenticity is accomplished via (1) the making of “brothers” and “others” based on symbolic boundaries of exclusion and inclusion and (2) the deployment of themes of resistance based on emotions of both sufferance and success. Implications suggest that interrogations of how virtuality constrains and enables processes of “authentic” racial identity formation as well as configurations of racist narratives and ideologies can yield added insights regarding the raced character of structure/agency, symbolic boundaries, and the social use of emotions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: racial identity, Internet, Greek (fraternity and sorority), symbolic boundaries, emotions

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Date posted: October 15, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Hughey, Matthew W., Virtual (Br)Others and (Re)Sisters: Authentic Black Fraternity and Sorority Identity on the Internet (October 8). Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 528-560, October 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1489702

Contact Information

Matthew W. Hughey (Contact Author)
University of Connecticut, Department of Sociology ( email )
Unit 2068
344 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2-68
United States
860.486.4422 (Phone)
860.486.6356 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.matthewhughey.com
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