Discuss the main arguments in Fotopoulou's "Digital and networked by default? Women’s organisations and the social imaginary of networked feminism" and Gajjala's "South Asian digital diasporas and cyberfeminist webs: negotiating globalization, nation, gender and information technology design." How do these arguments relate to contemporary society?

The main argument in both Fotopoulou and Gajjala's articles is that inequalities of gender, class, and race are often replicated and even exacerbated online. This view challenges the idea that technological and social progress go hand in hand.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "Digital and networked by default? Women's organisations and the social imaginary of networked feminism," Aristea Fotopoulou argues that the ideal of a "digital sisterhood," in which feminist organizations are supposed to flourish in a more inclusive online environment, is subject to numerous obstacles in practice. Fotopoulou found that the age and digital literacy levels of those who used technology in women's organizations, together with the lack of technical, educational, and financial resources available to them, combined to exclude access in many cases. This means that the idea of networked feminism seldom becomes a reality.

Radhika Gajjala's "South Asian digital diasporas and cyberfeminist webs: negotiating globalization, nation, gender and information technology design" examines similar obstacles "that arise in attempts to design and produce South Asian cyberfeminist e-spaces." Gajjala finds that entrenched power relations have not, in her experience and in the results of her research, been modified by an online environment and that social problems offline are merely replicated online.

Both arguments relate to contemporary society by challenging the idea that technological development is conducive to equity and to the spread of progressive ideas about gender, race, or class. Inequalities are often replicated online and may be exacerbated due to differences in education and opportunity. In such cases, progress in terms of technology will not be accompanied by social progress, and currently marginalized groups will only be left even further behind.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial