Tejaswini Niranjana and Denise Tang

This project seeks to investigate how young women understand and experience intimacy in the age of social media. 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. It will carry out a multi-sited study of young university-going women in four cities: Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Singapore, and Bangalore, chosen for their high percentage of social media usage in Asia among women in the 18-30 age group. It will focus on three aspects of social media, namely microblogging, file-sharing and services (eg., provided by dating apps), as well as on communicative media (eg., WeChat, WhatsApp, Instagram), deploying in-depth, qualitative methodologies to generate rich site-specific data. Using a qualitative ethnographic approach, the project will track 120 women (30 in each of the 4 locations) over 24 months to throw new light on emerging practices of digital intimacy, with specific reference to how young, college-going women cultivate a digital persona of their selves, and how such personae forge new ways of negotiating and navigating the realms of courtship/marriage, kinship/family and university education.

Bai Meijiadai, Holly Hou Lixian, Ritty Lukose, Nitya Vasudevan, Audrey Yue

Research Assistants
Farah Binti Gulam Hussain Bawany, Chung Man Yin, Chinmayi Ramaiah

Paromita VOHRA | Her Private Life
Sonia WONG | Making Room for (inter) Personal Intimacy in the Digital Age
Lik Sam CHAN | Gender Politics of Dating Apps in Urban China
Dhiren BORISA | Virtual Refuge to Assertion
Carman Fung | Strategic Identities
Smita V | The Many Realms of Digital Intimacies
Hua Su | The Usefulness of Ambiguity
Nimmi Rangaswamy | Digital Dilettante and the Creation of Romance
Nisha Susan | A short History of a Digital Intimacy Junkie
Sara Liao | Contentious Politics: Digital Media and Transnational Feminist Activism
Ruepert Jiel Dionisio Cao | Pink and Yellow Ribbons