Varghese, Daigy and Ranganathan, Shubha (2018) GENDER TALK IN SOCIAL MEDIA AMONG PEOPLE IN KERALA. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad.

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Kerala has always been known for its remarkable development in medical and educational sector and has also witnessed many social reform movements. Despite high indices of development in education and health, gender-related indices of development continue to be low in Kerala. Paradoxically patriarchal forces are still prominent in the state despite aspirations towards modern ‘western’ lifestyles, and this is an issue that demands to be explored in detail. Gender is one of the topics which is widely debated in social media by the youth in Kerala, especially in recent times. This study finds its relevance by locating itself at the intersection of the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, anthropology and the emerging perspective of critical social psychology. The broad research objective of this study is to map the qualitative shifts in the social landscape of Kerala, with respect to gender. The methods used for the study are online ethnography (where I followed discussions on gender-related topics in Facebook for four months), and focus group discussions (six FGDs were conducted among college students in three colleges in Kochi). The methods of analysis used are discourse analysis and thematic analysis. The findings show that people tend to take a ‘progressive tag’ when discussing gender, while at the same time rejecting the term ‘feminism’. People explicitly identify themselves with particular political and religious categories/ideologies (e.g. ‘liberal’, ‘atheist’, ‘religious’, etc.) and seek to demonstrate that the category or community they belong to is ‘progressive’. The discussions on gender are determined by the need to protect one’s patriarchal privileges and are driven by religious and political motivations. Finally, in the context of Kerala where the requirement for women’s involvement in the salaried work force is increasing, given the rising financial burdens on unemployed and underemployed men, it becomes important to project the society as a ‘progressive’ one, one that is conducive for women’s participation. By inscribing ethnicity, culture, and nationalism into women’s identity and body through the notions of gendered nationalism, men seek to benefit from women’s work involvement, without compromising on the patriarchal privileges.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Ranganathan, Shubha
Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender, Social Media, Discourse
Subjects: Social sciences
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 06:09
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 06:09
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