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Virtual HomelandsIndian Immigrants and Online Cultures in the United States$
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Madhavi Mallapragada

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038631

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038631.001.0001

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Out of Place in the Domestic Space

Out of Place in the Domestic Space

H4 Indian Ladies Negotiating Belonging

(p.46) Chapter Two Out of Place in the Domestic Space
Virtual Homelands

Madhavi Mallapragada

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the textual, discursive, and networking politics of Indian immigrant women residing in the United States on the H-4 temporary visa, through a close reading of the discussion forum by and about these women on the community website, indusladies.com. It argues that the politics of household and networking evidenced through the discussion cultures and online practices of forum participants exemplifies the repurposing of the virtual network to foreground a particular immigrant formation articulated along relations of gender and visa-defined immigrant class. H-4 women make visible their diverse and embodied experiences of feeling like outsiders in the immigrant space. They narrate their histories of migration from India and relocation in the United States, culminating in their becoming out of place in the nonresident Indian (NRI) household. In turn, their testimonials unsettle idealized discourses of gendered NRI belonging, which mostly by absence of representation assume that the H-4 wives of H-1B professionals are happily ensconced in domestic bliss as NRI householders.

Keywords:   Indian immigrant women, H-4 temporary visa, indusladies.com, non-resident Indians, United States, Indian household

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