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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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Desi Networks

Desi Networks

Linking Race, Class, and Immigration to Homeland

(p.115) Chapter Four Desi Networks
Virtual Homelands

Madhavi Mallapragada

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores how desi activism reimagines the Indian immigrant location and seeks to mobilize the politics of citizenship around issues of race and class. Using drumnyc.org, the homepage of New York-based organization Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), as a case study, it foregrounds a particular mode of citizenship among South Asian immigrants wherein belonging and rights are negotiated through technologies of race and immigration and through network cultures. The site represents its immigrant members as active political subjects in the U.S. homeland who craft a cultural location for themselves by engaging, resisting, and responding to the disciplinary strategies of the technologized racial state. In doing so, the activists of DRUM reveal how belonging is produced and enacted through the transnational online media and through immigrant, labor, and racial coalitions. Desi is here articulated to labor struggles, racial alliances, and immigrant collectives to produce desi networks as brown, working-class spaces of political leadership.

Keywords:   desi activism, citizenship, race, social class, drumnyc.org, Desis Rising Up and Moving, DRUM, South Asian immigrants

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