Virtually Islamic Blog

Professor Gary R. Bunt

Digital Piety in Bangladesh: A Psychosocial Analysis

Sayeed al-Zaman, Digital Piety in Bangladesh: A Psychosocial Analysis (ResearchGate)

"Following social development, Bangladesh has become more welcoming to digital technologies. Thus, an impactful digital community is flourishing within the country. It has been thought online community would be a sub-culture and mere clique. However, proving this surmise wrong, netizens constitute half of the country’s entire population in Bangladesh. As digital neighborhood is becoming larger as well as second-home to its users in Bangladesh, so the interaction and discourse is growing at an incredible pace. What we now call online is nothing but a reflection of offline except its physicality, where, like other real-life contents, religion has also been accommodated. Religion in cyberspace is dubbed as “cyber-religion”. Netizens perform virtual religious practices, express emotions regarding their religion, and participate in discussion. Debates on religion often leads to the intention of malice, and contending faiths transform peace into communal animosity. Thus, society get heated by hostile communal performances. In contemporary Bangladesh, “digital piety” as an exclusive phenomenon attained immense social significance. Investigating the dynamics of digital piety and its psychology, this study presents an overview of the mechanism of digital religion, and interactive relationships between online piety and communal tension on socio-political context."

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