Gender Justice and Social Media Networking in India: New frontiers in “connectedness”

Abstract

Social media emerges as the new tool/avtar for the multicultural networking in India, stimulating a new form of dialogic discourse in the space of democratic governance. It is unfolding as a space of liberation, a platform of cogitation or a site of celebration of provoking assertions and identity formation. Digitized networking, despite its economic and technological implications, is fast growing as an instrument of interrogating and/or reconfiguring traditional social-political, economic-cultural practices, identities, behaviors, norms and structures in India. The robust forms of social media networking, especially engaging the younger generation, in last few years have witnessed a new mode of citizen engagement in India, marked by a hitherto unseen celebration of power of connectedness engaging individual-citizens and groups. At the same time, it exhibits certain layers of discrimination and alienation within the deliberative-communicative space, thereby often defeating the essence of a true ‘democratic’ interconnectedness. Arguing on the above-mentioned assumptions, this paper contends that social media has played an instrumental role in provoking critical debates on gender justice, especially in the context of recent cases of physical violence against women in India. The power of social media networking as the new feedback system has been exploited by the organizations, individuals, activists, towards creating new strands of collective action in interrogating and resisting violence and redefining justice. In negotiating with the governance and the locale of power as well occasionally subverting the ‘myth’ of gender justice, social media emerges as the new platform of active citizenry and ‘insurgent politics’ with transformative potential for women’s rights movement in India.



Author Information
Kaberi Chakrabarti, University of Calcutta, India

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2013
Stream: Media Studies

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