Understanding social life today, according to Appadurai, involves examining the “production of locality.” Appadurai says that people strive to bridge various levels of disjunction (i.e., spatial separation) and difference (i.e., language or citizenship) by creating ‘neighborhoods,’ an essential element of social life (1995:207). In Appadurai’s model, ‘locality’ is a property of social life (a cultural conception, not a territorial marker, of social groups), while ‘neighborhoods’ are “lifeworlds constituted by relatively stable associations, by relatively known and shared histories” (1995:215) — in other words, the social forms that structure life in a community. Extending Anderson’s (1983) model of the nation-state to the global world (what Appadurai refers to as an “imagined world,” c.f. Strathern 1995), he provides an analytical framework that links together the global, the national, and the local. However, in looking at the internet, a domain that is by definition delocalized, how do we find locality?
“all media have always offered entrances to imagined spaces or ‘virtual realities,’ opening up symbolic worlds for transgressive experiences” (Boellstorff 2010:36); books and the printing press, pen pals and the postal system, etc.; the idea of the imagined community
Techne refers to art or craft, to human action that engages with the world and thereby results in a different world. Techne is not just knowledge about the world, what Greek thought termed episteme; it is intentional action that constitutes a gap between the world as it was before the action, and the new world it calls into being. (Boellstorff 2010:55)
techne “reveals whatever does not bring itself forth and does not yet lie here before us…. Whoever builds a house or a ship or forges a sacrificial chalice reveals what is to be brought forth” (Heidegger 1977:13, in Boellstorff 2010:56).