Rowman and Littlefield International
Digital Diasporas

Digital Diasporas

Labor and Affect in Gendered Indian Digital Publics

By Radhika Gajjala

Publication Date: Jul 2019

Pages 240

Hardback 9781783481156
Paperback 9781783481163
Ebook 9781783481170
Not available for pre-order
When we work or play through digital technologies – we also live in them. Communities form, conversations and social movements emerge spontaneously and through careful offline planning. While we have used disembodied communication and transportation technologies in the past – and still do – we have never before actually synchronously inhabited these communicative spaces, routes and networks in quite the way we do now. Digital Diasporas engages conversations across a selection of contemporary (gendered) Indian identified networks online: “Desis” creating place through labour and affective network formation in secondlife, Indian (diasporic) women engaged in digital domesticity, to Indian digital feminists engaged in debate and dialogue through Twitter.

Through particular conversations and ethnographic journeys and linking back to personal and South Asian histories of Internet mediation, Gajjala and her co-authors reveal how affect and gendered digital labour combine in the formation of global socio-economic environment.

Introduction: Labor and Affect in Gendered Digital Diasporas

Part I:

1. Placing South Asian Digital Diasporas in Second Life by Radhika Gajjala

2. “Whatsappified” Diasporas of Indian Women: Persistent Communication, Circuits of Affect, and Relationality through Appified Interaction by Radhika Gajjala and Tarishi Verma

3. Dialogue Interlude on The Queer Question by Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Smita Vanniyar

Part II

4. Gendered Indian Digital Publics: Digital Domesticity by Radhika Gajjala

5. Dialogue Interlude on Ghar and Bahir by Radhika Gajjala in conversation with Sriya Chattopadhyaya, Sarada Nori, Shobha S.V., and Puthiya Purayil Sneha

Part III

6. Gendered Indian Digital Publics: Digital Streets by Radhika Gajjala

7. Dialogue Interludes on Indian digital [feminist] streets

Conclusion: Afterthoughts: Different ways of writing together – Radhika Gajjala and Kaitlyn Wauthier



Author Bios

Radhika Gajjala has been an important expert on digital culture in India and the United States for decades, as well as an innovator in ethnographic research. This book exemplifies her deep commitments to feminist scholarship and to collaborative methodologies. For those wishing to understand phenomena such as hashtag feminism or digital domesticity, Gajjala’s insights about online behavior among members of the vast South Asian digital diaspora are powerful, complex, and deeply engaged with the lives of her subjects and fellow researchers.

Elizabeth Losh, associate professor of English and American Studies, College of William and Mary
Building on insights developed over years of feminist ethnographic engagement in digital and offline spaces, in this volume Radhika Gajjala attempts to push the boundaries of her own work, in terms of both process and substance. This valuable work complicates and fills out our understanding of South Asian digital diasporas by challenging the false binaries of ghar and bhair, or domestic and public, throwing into the mix the dynamics of caste, gender, religion and geographic location, opening up many questions that will continue to vex us—as feminists, as media scholars, and as occupants of multiple digital worlds.
Usha Raman, associate professor, Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad
Radhika Gajjala is Professor of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Her previous books include Cyberculture and the Subaltern (Lexington, 2012) and Cyberselves: Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women (Altamira, 2004). She has co-edited collections including Cyberfeminism 2.0 (Peter Lang 2012), Global Media Culture and Identity (Routledge 2011), South Asian Technospaces (Peter Lang 2008) and Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice (Hampton Press2008).
She is also a member of the Fembot Collective and FemTechnet and is co-editor of ADA: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology.

Also Recommended