"Is social media good for my child's education?"- perceptions across social classes
Shriram Venkatraman (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D))
Paper short abstract:
This paper argues that the perceptions of parents of school going children about Social Media aren't uniform across social classes. It also discusses how perspectives of parents change based on the type of school their children attend and the opportunities that the school creates for them.
Paper long abstract:
Social media is generally considered as an enemy to education by parents of school going children in India. However, what emerges is a very different view if one dives deeper and splits this perspective into various demographic groups based on social class categories. This perceived enmity towards social media is not uniform across class groups and what emerges is a distinctly opposing view based on the social class one belongs to. Several variables of socio-economic-political nature influence such perceptions. This paper arising out of 15 months of ethnography of a field site named Panchagrami next to the city of Chennai in South India discusses how social media is viewed by parents belonging to the higher income, middle class and lower income groups. While the higher income/middle classes might view it as a threat to their children's education, it is seen as a sign of intelligence and that of inter-generational attainment by the low income parents. Further, this paper also discusses how perspectives of parents (even belonging to higher income/middle class) on social media change based on the type of school that their children attend and the opportunities that the school creates for them.
Social media and inequality