146 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    146 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    The book examines the social and cultural role of selfies in India. It looks at how the selfie, unlike the photograph, which was a gesture towards an external reality, remains intimately self-referential, yet reconfigures social ordering, identity formation, agency, and spaces in curious ways.

    This volume approaches questions about the construction and performance of the self through the digital selfie and uses this situated, contextualized, and culturally specific phenomenon as a site to explore the themes of self-making, place-making, gender, subjectivity, and power. Highlighting the specific contexts of production, the authors examine the array of self-expressive capabilities realized in a multitude of uses of the selfie that simultaneously reconfigure the self, the space, and the world.

    An important study of visual social media culture, the volume will be useful for interpreting everyday media experiences and will be of interest to students and researchers of image studies, visual studies, photography studies, visual culture, media studies, culture studies, cultural anthropology, digital humanities, popular culture, sociology of technology, and South Asian studies.

    1. Introduction 2. Still/moving images: Performing masculinity and making place in Delhi's ' hotspots'3. Probing ‘Insta-worthiness’: Siting the Selfie 4. Putting the selfie to work: Image making and work/ time discipline in the margins of the Indian state 5. Posthumous selfy memory: Fan identities and the making of superstars 6. Creating and curating the performing object: Self-making on #Bookstagram and #Inktober



    Avishek Ray is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the National Institute of Technology Silchar.

    Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at NYU.

    Usha Raman is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Hyderabad, India.

    Martin Webb is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths.

    Neha Gupta is a postdoctoral researcher at TISS Mumbai.

    Sai Amulya Komarraju is Assistant Professor in the Communications area at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India.

    Anuja Premika is a PhD research scholar at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, India.

    Riad Azam works as a Counseling Manager at Athena Education.

    Farhat Salim works as Community Engagement Manager at Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontier India.

    Pranavesh Subramanian is a writer, comedian and filmmaker based in Delhi.

    “Selfies have been subjected to scholarly scrutiny over the past decade. But this collection of essays on ‘the social life of selfies in India’ brings a refreshing and important localized take on the tactility, temporality, and technique of the selfie. Contributors draw from a variety of disciplines including Sociology, Fan Studies, Urban Studies, and Media Studies to interrogate the evolutionary role of selfies among various grassroots groups in one of the most populous countries globally. Considering established social media like Instagram, newer social media like TikTok, and messaging apps like WhatsApp, the collection unravels how selfies are constructed and deployed by identity groups including young men and domestic labourers, and interest groups including tourists, fans, and avid readers. Collectively, these emotive stories question the socio-cultural impacts of selfies as product and praxis, and their enduring ability to shape human understanding one snap at a time.”


    Crystal Abidin, Digital Anthropologist; Co-editor of Mediated Interfaces: The Body on Social Media


    “This book is a nuanced addition to the growing body of research on digital affects and expressions. The selfie is approached as an operative, allusive, and purposive cultural artefact in this volume of grounded and enthralling essays. From teasing out contexts of selfie production and circulation, deeming a selfie consumer worthy and stitching selfies as aesthetic practices to produce ‘affect’ are some of the incisive propositions in the volume. Selfies as a framing device to depict not only the idiosyncratic personality or singular political engagements but also the prosaic routines of humdrum living are other rewarding elements in this glittering collection.”


    Nimmi Rangaswamy, Professor, Kohli Centre for Intelligent Systems, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad