Productivity to Precarity on Instagram: Digital Feminism in India during the Covid-19 Pandemic
This paper examines how digital feminism deconstructed neo-liberal ideals of technological productivity in India during the Covid-19 pandemic. By creating a productivity scale, I delineate new social disparities and risk factors brought on by the unprecedented shift to a work-from-home digital economy. Through theories of biopower, I argue that technology is not neutral, apolitical, or unequivocally in favour of equal access and human rights. The creation of a new social group termed the ‘technoprecariat’ during lockdown is discussed using a ‘cripqueer’ approach to digital feminism. I extend Judith Butler’s early work on gender performativity to the neo-liberal ideal of gender productivity, where the onus of appearing perpetually ‘productive’ in lockdown was mainly on women. By analyzing how women debunked productivity on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, I examine queer influencers whose profiles demonstrated the cost of social non-conformism. I reveal how three feminist activists Priyanka Paul, Durga Gawde, and Roshni Kumar subverted gender productivity during lockdown through their distinct aesthetic and political standpoints.
"Productivity to Precarity on Instagram: Digital Feminism in India during the Covid-19 Pandemic,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss2/5