Communicating through Internet in India: Some Formulations on Understanding Change

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:12
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Arvind CHAUHAN, Department of Sociology, Barkatullah University, Bhopal, (M.P), 462026, India, India
The paper is divided into following five parts: (i) introduction; (ii) the use of internet and transformation of relationships in India; (iii) inequality and challenges posed by digital divide in India; (iv) communication through internet: some conceptualizations in sociology, and (v) conclusion. Following questions have been raised and discussed in the paper: (i) how has internet communication transformed the nature and types of relationships in India?; (ii) what has been the social background of internet users in India?; (iii) what has been the notion of ‘consumerism’ and its association with ‘gratification’ in Indian society and how is it different from the western countries; and (v) how have the internet users participated in various political discussions and processes and strengthened democracy in India? Finally, some of the conclusions arrived at are discussed like: (i) communication through internet has helped in the formation of new types of relationships in the virtual world at the expense of primordial ones like kinship relations in India; (ii) older people prefer to use communication through internet at their homes, while the people of younger generation prefer to use it at internet café; (iii) the class-divide suggests that the communication through internet is out of reach for very large population in India; (iv) social inequalities have further increased and strengthened as a consequence of digital divide in India; (v) ‘consumerism’ led ‘gratification’ exists in India also, but it is different from the one found in the west; (vi) different political parties and ‘caste like-groups’ have been using internet for communication to further their political interests like addressing and convincing their respective constituencies.