10 Books to help expand your understanding of social media dynamics in India

Social media books India

Select books here cover topics ranging from the role of digital communities to the ethnographic aspects of social media usage in India.

Over the last few years, there has been a rapid change in the way people in India use the internet and scroll through social media. There has been a rise in influencer marketing, opening up opportunities for brands. Through social media routes, brands are directly talking to their consumers. Cause and effect of political and people movements can be linked to social media. These observations reflect that social media is an important and complex entity that needs to be understood well, especially within the various multi-layered contexts in India, something the following books have done.


India Social by Ankit Lal

Ankit Lal takes a deep dive into India’s biggest social media campaigns and analyses how, in just the last ten years, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp have changed the way Indians engage with politics, popular culture and social revolution.


The Networked Public: How Social Media Changed Democracy by Amber Sinha

The Network Public helps one understand how the Internet and social media are changing the dynamics of democracy in India and the World. It focusses on the unchecked powers of social media platforms in shifting, manipulating and polarising discourses in the public sphere.


The Big Connect: Politics in the Age of Social Media by Shaili Chopra

Social media is increasingly being used for political communication. In this book, Shaili Chopra compares the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012. The book also takes a closer analytical look at the social media campaigns of leaders such as Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, and Arvind Kejriwal. The argument put forth in the book revolves around the influential power of social media content and actions in the process of voting.


Hear #MeToo in India: News, Social Media, and Anti-Rape and Sexual Harassment Activism by Pallavi Guha

Hear #MeToo in India talks about the importance and role of different media platforms in feminist activism in India with respect to anti-rape and sexual harassment. This book contains 75 interviews with activist and journalists working in different regions of India.


Social Media in South India

Social Media in South India by Shriram Venkatraman

Social Media in South India is an ethnographic study where Shriram Venkatraman explores the everyday lives of people in Tamil Nadu and how they use social media. The book focusses on the various factors that have led to a significant amount of transformation in the understanding of social media in the region. One of the important factors being the influx of IT companies in the region.

Also Read: 10 books that every social media professional needs to read

Situating Social Media

Situating Social Media: Gender, Caste, Protest by Samata Biswas & Atig Ghosh

The use of social media cannot be looked at in isolation. The identity of the persons behind screens, posting as well as consuming matter. They are people with prior experiences and varying levels of understanding of issues at hand. Situating Social Media looks at the activism practices and solidarity building aspects of digital, with respect to several dimensions such as gender, caste, class, region, political ideology and disaster.


Nirbhaya, New Media and Digital Gender Activism by Adrija Dey

The book takes a look at activism in the digital sphere with respect to gender with a primary focus on the impact of gender-related issues. It studies the phenomenon of gender activism and the way it impacts politics, society, culture and gender dynamics. The 2012 Nirbhaya case and the way it changed conversations around sexual assaults forms the crux of the book.


India Connected

India Connected: How the Smartphone is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy by Ravi Agrawal

Ravi Agrawal writes about the importance of smartphones in India and the disruption it has caused in the lives of people, especially low-income and rural citizens, facilitating them to fight barriers of wealth, language, literacy, caste and gender. The book focusses on the impact of the internet in transforming aspects such as the state of women, education, jobs, dating, marriage, family life, commerce, and governance in India.


Cyberculture and the Subaltern

Cyberculture and the Subaltern: Weavings of the Virtual and Real by Radhika Gajjala

Taking a look at how online activities have an impact on real-life/offline scenarios, Radhika Gajjala weaves together a tale with contexts from India and Africa. Globalisation and technology have been used as the frame of examination. Efforts have been put to understand development discourse, new technologies and virtual world marketing.


India Misinformed

India Misinformed by Pratik Sinha, Dr Sumaiya Shaikh and Arjun Sidharth

The spread of misinformation in India has changed the dynamics of the country. It has led to several cases of violence and can be considered to be a serious threat to Indian democracy and electoral policies. This book is a collection of essays that unearth the mechanism behind the creation, circulation and impact of fake news.


Have you read any of the above books on the social media landscape of India, or plan? Do let us know!


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