Negotiating the global and the local: How Thai culture co-opts the Internet (originally published in August 2000)

Soraj Hongladarom


As the Internet is spreading around the globe, a problem is created concerning its impact on the local cultures. This paper argues that the relation between computer-mediated communication technologies and local cultures is characterized neither by a homogenizing effect, where the technologies bring about one global monolithic culture, nor by an erecting of barriers separating one culture from another, where there is no impact at all. Instead, local cultures usually find ways to cope with the impact and are resilient enough to absorb it without losing some kind of identity. A case study is presented on a local Internet scene in Thailand to see how Thai culture co-opts the Internet and how its identity is being constantly negotiated.

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