YOUTH , Social MEDIA and Emerging Alternative Spaces for Socio-Political Movements : Analysis of 'nirbhaya' IMPACT

Friday, July 18, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: F204
Distributed Paper
Smita VERMA , Sociology, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India
With the  swelling proportion of youth population, India today is becoming one of the biggest Social Media market .The emergence of  youth as new actors empowered with the technology - mobiles, facebook twitters and the like  have resulted in organized demonstrations/protests developing an intercultural platform  to build solidarity. This new 'youth brigade'  by engaging in political conversations for collective action  has not only ignited  mass social movements but also challenged the academia to reposition itself on the role of youth and social media as active partners of social change. This study analyzes the role of social media as perceived by the youth in the age group of 18-30 years in the city of lucknow. The case in study is the December 2012 New Delhi Gang rape case - 'NIRBHAYA'  Movement. This paper attempts to gain in depth understanding of youth activism   at the intersection of multidimensional identities  and their unified perception towards transformative socio-political change through social media campaigns . It also focuses on why and how  the youth organize  in to online social activism fearlessly  and  bring in a faceless movement for collective political action by  actively engaging in dialogue and building public opinion thereof creating strong youth pressure. The paper examines how far such campaigns have been successful  not only on focussing on punishment  but challenge the cultural assumptions which creates spaces for violence against women.