My research question will focus on what aspects of online religious practices, specifically within the Hinduism faith, strongly affect their religious identity; centered around whether or not their core values and beliefs are being strengthened or weakened and discovering if this influence differentiates their Hindu identity from that of the identity they would originally possess without using online tools.
In order to understand this inquiry, I will research three specific subgroups including: the importance of Hindu identity, how the notion of identity comes into play on the World Wide Web, and how a Hindu identity interacts in an online setting. I will also be creating a case study to add to my research of scholars that have studied this subject before by looking at a few online Hinduism sites. While looking at these sites, I will understand the differences of identity online in an informational site vs. interactive site sense. In other words, I will compare different websites to see what aspects they have that allow growth of an individual’s Hindu identity; some may be more of an informational medium, and others will allow the visitor to participate in Hindu traditions.
The websites that I want to incorporate in my study, so far, include the following:
I believe that it is important to look at multiple sites in order to have a consistent answer to my question of Hindu identity online.