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Children's Digital Experiences in Indian Slums

Technologies, Identities, and Jugaad

180 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This book departs from the universalising and rescue narratives of poor children and technologies. It offers complex stories on how children's social identities (gender, caste, and religion), cultural norms, and personal aspirations influence their digital experiences. How do children challenge, circumvent, or reinforce the dominant sociocultural norms in their engagements with digital technologies? What can we learn about digital technologies and poor children's jugaad and aspirations in the urban sprawls of India? This book explores these questions ethnographically by focusing on how children in three urban slums in India access technologies, inhabit online spaces, and personalise their digital experiences, networks, and identity articulations based on their values and aspirations. It utilises insights from studies on jugaad, expression, and sociality to argue that poor children's material realities, community relations, and aspirations for leisure, class mobility, and belongingness profoundly shape their engagements with digital technologies.
Author Bio
Kiran Vinod Bhatia is a digital anthropologist working at the intersection of marginalization and digital media. She is a Senior Researcher at FemLab and leads projects in the field of creator economy, user behaviors/interactions, digital cultures, social movements, and networked activism.