Gendering of Smartphone Ownership and Autonomy among Youth: Narratives from Rural India

08/22/2021 ∙ by Renza Iqbal, et al. ∙ 0

This study delves into the research question: how does gender influence smartphone ownership and autonomy in using the internet among the youth in rural India? This paper explores the influence of local culture on smartphone ownership and autonomy through an ethnographic study among rural Indian youth by analysing the intersection of gender with other identity axes. The findings show that young people's smartphone ownership and autonomy is shaped by their social and cultural setting, and could lead to various inequalities in their internet usage. This study shows that gender paves way for various disparities with regard to smartphone ownership and internet usage. Decolonisation of the understanding of smartphone ownership and internet usage patterns of the youth in the Global South suggests a reconsideration of the user experience designs and platform policies.

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