Social Media in South India
Shriram Venkatraman | June 2017
Format: 234 x 156mm
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About the book
The first ethnographic study to explore use of social media in the everyday lives of people in Tamil Nadu, Social Media in South India provides an understanding of this subject in a region experiencing rapid transformation. The influx of IT companies over the past decade into what was once a space dominated by agriculture has resulted in a complex juxtaposition between an evolving knowledge economy and the traditions of rural life. While certain class tensions have emerged in response to this juxtaposition, a study of social media in the region suggests that similarities have also transpired, observed most clearly in the absence of any work-life balance for both the old residents and the new. For many of the local inhabitants, whether they are employed in agriculture or IT, the boundary between their work life and their non-work life is being redrawn to accommodate longer work hours and encourage greater dedication to their jobs.
Venkatraman explores the impact of social media at home, work and school, and analyses the influence of caste, age, politics and gender on how, and which, social media platforms are used in different contexts. Caste, he argues, has a significant effect on social media use. Endogamy, the custom of marrying within a caste, has led to the surveillance of social media accounts, usually those of women by their male relatives, suggesting that social media in India remains bound by local traditions and practices.
About the author
Shriram Venkatraman is a PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology, UCL. He is a trained professional statistician and, prior to his doctoral studies, held leadership positions at Walmart in the USA. His research interests include technologies in the workplace, organisational culture, and entrepreneurship.