Communication and Social Movements: Continuities and Discontinuities

About this project

Project description

This project will specifically explore the relationship between social movements and their uses of/relationships with media/information/technologies in India. Dealing with both independence and post-independence social movements in India, it will provide doctoral candidates the opportunities to explore the continuities, discontinuities, affordances, experiences arising from the technological mediation of social movements. It will provide opportunities to study at length the specific roles played by theatre, print, radio, television, socialmobile and internet technologies networking in relationship to the mobilisation, communication, identity-building, awareness building and education, recruitment of individuals and communities. Taking a broad view of social movements, it will intentionally consider all movements irrespective of their political/ideological affiliations.

The key objective of this project will be to explore the specific contributions made by technologically-mediated movements to the strengthening of movement identity and organizational structures, to examine movement investments in the infrastructures of communications and the historically contingent nature of the relationship between social movements and their uses of communications technology. It will encourage candidates to explore theory inspired by both local and Western scholars and methodologies that are based on both qualitative and quantitative approaches and that are best suited to the generation of empirical data. The methodologies will include archival work, interviews, ethnographic field studies, surveys, big data analysis using Leximancer and other scraping/mining software. Given the combined expertise of both the principle and associate advisors spanning traditional, mass and new media, extensive teaching experience related to social movements both at UG and PG levels, first-hand knowledge of social movements in India and elsewhere and respective standing in their respective fields, we feel that the theme of this project will evince sufficient interest from quality students who will be given the opportunity to contribute to original pieces of work this enhancing the corpus of knowledge on social movements in India.


  1. The generation of textured data on the relationship between social movements and information/communication technologies in India.
  2. The training of young scholars ready for a life in academia.
  3. Monographs in the Palgrave Studies on Communication for Social Change series.
  4. Journal articles in the Economic & Political Weekly, Global Media & Communications and International Communications Gazette.

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Knowledge of social movements. Ability to engage with the theory and practice of social movements.

Desireable capabilities

Curiosity, commitment to the topic, motivation.

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

MA or Honours in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences.

Candidate Discipline

Sociology, English Literature, Political Science, Communication and Media Studies, Journalism.

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Associate Professor Pradip Thomas

School of Communication and Arts
IITD Supervisor

Associate Professor Arjun Ghosh

Department of Humanities and Social Science