Accepted Paper:

Ethnicity and national identity in Nepali dailies and the blogosphere  

Author:

Johanna Buss (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

The current debates about identity and rights of ethnic groups in Nepal are strongly influenced by the printing press and blogosphere. In my paper I am analyzing the discourses about ethnic groups, ethnicity as well as national identity in main Nepali dailies as well as Nepali Blogs.

Paper long abstract:

The debate about identity and rights of ethnic groups in Nepal has intensified since the elections for the constituent assembly in April 2008. The passage of the new constitution, anyhow, could not be realized due to the inability of the elected representatives to reach a consensus on the restructuring of the state considering the manifold multi-ethnic groups and their demands.

The rapidly developing printing press and blogosphere strongly influence the debates in the public sphere. The dailies as other mass media are frequently accused to be biased towards the high caste groups as most of the journalist of the influential media formats belong to these groups and therefore the old high caste dominance is perpetuated in the selection of journalists as well as reportage of the mass media. In my paper I am analyzing the discourses about ethnic groups, ethnicity as well as national identity in six main dailies as well as 2 main Nepali Blogs between the election of 2008 and the upcoming election for the constituent assembly in November 2013.

Panel P28
Public displays of ethnic identity in Nepal