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Number and Name of RC: RC 15, Social Change & Development

Title of the abstract: Gender Differential Use of Mobile Phone and
Dimensions of Social Change among Youths
Name and Address: Arghya Sukul, Research Scholar
Department of Sociology, University of Kalyani,
West Bengal, 741235

This proposed article is to explore the dimensions of social significance of gender
differential use of mobile phones by both male and female youths as the medium of
conversation and communication in contemporary society. It has also been
discussed that how new technology and interaction pattern of mobile communication
among youths shape new dimensions of social change. It is also argued that
prevailing gender differences are affecting and constructing pattern of mobile
Social relation can be considered dependent on the nature of social interaction
pattern among individuals of a society. The value, norms and customs of a social
group reveal the importance and nature of specific interaction pattern. Patriarchic
model of social domination is assumed to reflect its influences in every social
interaction in human society. The roles of the individuals are set according to their
relative statuses within the social system depending on social relations. They are
also supposed to behave as per their positions and accesses to opportunities. This
accession mostly depends on the nature and wideness of interaction of a person to
access their fellow members of the society. In male dominated society traditional
mode of interaction pattern hinders females’ avenues of interaction by social
sanctions, norms, values and taboos. The uses of new devices of ‘network society’
are opening these avenues. Use of Mobile phones may be redefining and
empowering the individuals. Women have their own discourse – may be discourse of
a submissive group. Through this proposed paper it will be examined how both male
and female youths will asses and reassess the role of new technologies and devices
for constructing and reconstructing gender identity and gender discourse in
contemporary techno-exposed Indian society. This paper also focuses on how
women are using this comparatively new method of social interaction for constructing
their own world or making their room in larger society.
Utilization of the mobile phone for communication is an immensely significant social
and cultural phenomenon. The fundamental issue for sociology of mobile
communication revolves around the process of change. Bound up with contemporary
issues of change, the mobile phone is a prime object for sociological attention both
at the macro and micro levels of analysis.
Multiple and diverse negotiations of identity and social relationships may challenge
dimensional associations between ‘youth’ and technologies, emphasising the
diversity of economic, gender, cultural and social values attributed to mobile phones
by different groups of young people. The gender aspects of social change related
with information and communication technology usage need to be fleshed out
because a negative trend could threaten gender equality in an information and
knowledge society. In context of our contemporary society, sociological study
focusing on social change, development, communication technologies, gender and
youth may serve as a needed one.
Key words: Mobile Communication, Gender, Youth, Social Change.