Author: Rebecca Clothey and Emmanuel F. Koku, Drexel University
Source: Asian Ethnicity (Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14631369.2016.1158636)
The Internet has potential as a tool for propagation of minority cultures and identities. As China is a multi-ethnic, multilingual society, people of varying cultural backgrounds and across the Chinese diaspora may be found participating in Chinese language sites. However, little attention has been paid to the separate online activity among any of China’s 55 officially recognized ethnic minority groups, such as the Uyghurs, especially in their native languages. In this paper, we consider in what ways digital media such as interactive online community forums (UY: munbar) may be used by one ethnic group, Uyghurs, as a means of mobilizing their community to preserve their culture and support their community. As the majority ethnic group within a region of China noted as among China’s most politically sensitive, Uyghur use of computer-mediated communication provides a rich source of study.