Feminism, Multiculturalism and Virtual Communities
Re-imagining the Text: English Studies and Digital Humanities, Vol. 1, Iss. 1, (2017)
6 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2018
Date Written: September 19, 2017
The most important task before virtual communities committed to promote multicultural ethos with emphasis on gender justice is to make social and cultural interventions before employing virtual learning environment for learning and knowledge sharing. Feminist movements have played pivotal role in reaching out to millions of women from 4 generations by creating virtual communities. Knowledge sharing in a multicultural virtual (online) learning community has a democratizing influence on individuals and groups of all generations who are digitally connected. Communication on Plural lifestyles-food habits, dress codes; ideological moorings, historical and cultural legacies, inter-generational dialogues, best practices, role models of different fields and of different regions not only broaden our horizons but also prepare us to respect plural lifestyles. It also has humbling effect as we start appreciating plus points of people from other cultures. Stereotypes and myths based on ignorance, lack of knowledge about fellow human beings generate ‘fear of the unknown’ syndrome. Virtual communities can play crucial role in combating xenophobia, misogyny and intolerance towards the ‘other’. Three building blocks of virtual communications on WhatsApp Groups, google/yahoo groups and other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram that contribute to transformatory processes through life stories, verses, slogans, quotations, visuals, multiple art forms that affect people’s perception. Creative and proactive approaches towards new technology, methods of communication that affect the immediate environment of a virtual community and plan of action which explain virtual communities as ‘change makers’ are need of an hour. Virtual world is reaching out to citizens from diverse backgrounds in terms of class, caste, ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender and skin colour. Over last decade we have witnessed this is happening in cases of pen-pals, fusion music, online museum and archives, photographic memories, qualitative research on wide range of subjects- from work-life balance, violence against women, health awareness, cost effective formal and non-formal education and trading, environmental concerns different methods of home gardening and organic farming, self-learning real time cookery, healing practices rooted in different cultures, attitude towards senior citizens and differently abled people.
Keywords: Feminism, Multiculturalism, Pluralism, Cultural Diversity, Gender Justice, Respect, Tolerance, Technology, Communication
JEL Classification: Z18
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