16 / 2002
Sanja Čikić

Connecting of Slovenes around the woeld with the Help of the Internet: Establishing Virtual Ethnic Communities

The present text problematises the connecting of Slovene emigrants abroad among themselves and with the homeland. Connecting in the era of rapid development of informational communication technology is given new dimensions, which we here attempt to enlighten. Through the sociological viewpoint on diaspora we present the life of the individual in diaspora, resorting to the division of the viewpoint of the individual, and the viewpoint of the emigrant community. Thus we try to deal with the life of emigrants through seeking connections between the following dimensions: being integrated into an environment, mastering Slovene language, preserving ethnic identity, need for ethnic socializing, nostalgia of the individual and least but not last the activeness of part-taking in virtual ethnic communities. With the help of theoretic stand-points we define the mentioned connections and empirically verify them. Presented are the results of the poll, which the emigrants answered over the internet. We ascertain that a statistically typical connectedness exists between the activeness of cooperating in virtual ethnic communities and the degree of integratedness of an individual into the environment in which one at present lives, the need for ethnic socializing, and the nostalgia of the individual. On the basis of collected data we attempt to deduce on actual existence of Slovene virtual ethnic communities.