Feminist citizen media in India : A study of media strategies and feminist approaches in India of today

University essay from Stockholms universitet/JMK

Author: Helena Boman Brodie; [2016]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This thesis is a qualitative analysis of conceptions of identity, media strategies and the work practices of six Indian feminist citizen media organizations. The main actors of these organizations have been interviewed to add knowledge regarding the complex character and phenomena of the feminist citizen media outlets working to raise awareness of gender equality in India. Additionally, the feminist approach of these citizen media organizations is analyzed in relation to earlier feminist theories, to add knowledge, present and analyze their conceptions of gender equality in the Indian context. The analysis shows that the multifaceted approach of the rhizome (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; Bailey, Cammaerts & Carpentier, 2007) is useful tool when trying to capture the conceived identities, media strategies and work practice of these citizen media organizations. The feminist citizen media organizations do differ in media strategies and work practices, yet the similarities in elusiveness is striking, such as the way their media strategies and work practice transformed and developed organically in relation to the social, political and economic sphere in which they act. Some main media strategies emphasized by the organizations include: female empowerment; giving voice to women and subordinated groups; opposing the narrative of mainstream media in relation to gender; to use participation in the media or through the media; and, to identify themselves as civil democracy organizations using civic participation. Some of the organizations are more aligned with mainstream media practice, while others oppose such practice. The organizations are also adjusting to the restrictions of the social, political and economic environments in which they operate – with economic restrictions, for example, impacting changes in direction and content. The main feminist approach of gender equality is understood as socially constructed inequalities through time and space. Their focus on female sexual and reproductive rights correlates with earlier theories of second wave feminism, although other feminist perspectives are also integrated. Keywords Multifaceted approach of the rhizome, gender analysis, feminist citizen media organizations, interviews, media strategies and work practice, gender theory, empowerment, civic participation

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