Masserat Amir-Ebrahimi: Performance in everyday life and the rediscovery of the „Self“ in Iranian Weblogs


Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else. Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

In spite of claims to a „universal“ language, the internet is a new public space/sphere grounded in particular sociocultural aspects of everyday life. Its cultural significance varies considerably from place to place according to people’s diverse experiences, lacks, needs and aspirations. In democratic societies, cyberspace is often viewed as an „alter“ space of information, research and leisure that functions in a parallel or complementary fashion to existing public spaces and institutions. In countries where public spaces are controlled by traditional or restrictive cultural forces, however, the internet can take on varied significa- tion. In Iran, where the public sphere is closely monitored and regulated by traditional and state forces, the internet has become a means to resist the restrictions imposed on these spaces. For people living in these countries, especially marginalized groups such as youth and women, the internet can be a space more „real“ than everyday life. From this perspective, an analysis of internet use is an important tool by which to study socio-cul- tural forms hidden in everyday life but revealed in the virtual world. …