An Instagram Of One’s Own: Young Indian Women’s Use of Mobile Technologies for Skilling and Work

Nayana Dhavan, Elisa Oreglia, Anushri Israni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Abstract

This chapter explores how young, urban, working-class Indian women use social media to imagine and pursue their work aspirations, and how their socioeconomic status and intersectional identities may limit the potential futures that the internet opened up to their imaginations. We focus on women who are at the margins of urban life and society and typically the first in their families to engage in more formal work and in new forms of small-scale entrepreneurship enabled by the internet. We employ a feminist lens to study self-expression and digital engagement to show that these women’s unprecedented access to the internet, as mediated by social media on mobile phones and furthered by the pandemic, pushed them to envision a myriad of creative, imagined futures. However, their own narratives of restrictions and strategies in using these technologies in existing social contexts shed light on the limits of the seemingly infinite power of the internet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobile Communication and Women’s Agency: Under the Radar
EditorsXin Pei, Pranav Malhotra, Rich Ling
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter16
Pages189
Number of pages199
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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