Digital Intimacies: Young Women and Social Transformation in Globalizing Asia

Activity: Talks or PresentationsOther Invited Talks or Presentations


This multi-sited project, located in four Asian cities – Hong Kong, Bangalore, Guangzhou and Singapore – seeks to investigate how university-going young women understand and experience intimacy in the age of social media and the widespread use of digital apps. Specifically, it looks at negotiations around the institutions of family, marriage, and tertiary education, all three of which appear to be undergoing profound transformation due to digital mediation. The four cities were chosen for their high percentage of social media usage in Asia among women in the 18-30 age group. The project focusses on three aspects of social media, namely microblogging, file-sharing and services (e.g. provided by dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Tantan), as well as on communicative media (e.g. WeChat, WhatsApp, Instagram). Using a qualitative ethnographic approach, the project seeks to throw new light on emerging practices of digital intimacy, with specific reference to how young, college-going women cultivate digital personae of their selves at the intersection of class, caste and gender, and how such personae forge new ways of negotiating and navigating the realms of courtship/marriage, kinship/family and university.
Period1 Jun 2023
Held atDepartment of Cultural Studies