Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Transnationalization of the Public Sphere Through the Internet Elaborated Through the Re-imagining of Macedonian National Identity Online
by Nikodinoska, Vesna, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2009, 134; 10305718
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis explores how Internet discussion forums extend the public sphere allowing the inclusion of different segments of the public inside national borders, but also beyond the national borders, constructing what we could call a transnational public sphere.

In order to compare online national and transnational public spheres, this thesis refers to online discussions about disputed Macedonian national identity. The research show how Macedonians build national identity in opposition to the name dispute with Greece, which claims authentic rights on the use of the word “Macedonia.” During the negotiations between Macedonia and Greece in February-April 2008, ordinary citizens tried to join the debate about Macedonian national identity, striving to find additional space for their voices to be heard. Online discussion forums served this aspiration, since the traditional media, TV, radio, and newspapers, did not offer enough space for citizens’ reactions. The following research answers how and why the citizens of Macedonia use Internet communication for expressing their national identity in the virtual national and transnational public sphere. As a consequence of this online engagement, this research explores the extension that happens in the public sphere, inside and outside the national borders. Finally, this thesis deals with the relationship between national and transnational public spheres.

An example of the national public sphere, where Macedonians discuss their national identity among themselves, is elaborated through the Macedonian newspaper Utrinski vesnik daily’s online forum at www.utrinski.com.mk. An example of a transnational public sphere, where Macedonians confront Greeks on the same topic, is described through the international Topix’s forum at www.topix.com.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hayward, Mark
Commitee: Isar, Yudhishthir Raj
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Global Communications
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Multimedia Communications, Slavic Studies, Social structure
Keywords: Greece, Internet, Macedonia, National identity, Public sphere
Publication Number: 10305718
ISBN: 9781369492828
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