Understanding social evolution from pre to post Corona Crises

Dr. Ravia Gupta
Book Title: Information Age: Culture, Identity & Society
Editors: Ritu. Sood, Vinit Kumar Jha Utpal & Archna Mitra
ISBN: 978-93-85696-96-1
First Edition: 2021
Pages: 210
Price: Rs 995/-
Yash Publications, Delhi

In the Information Age there is a growing use of social media platforms for both professional and personal purposes there by bringing a change in our culture, identity and society at large. Research in this area suggests that professional identity on social media is formed out of four things – subject expert, social media guidelines, freedom and spontaneity. According to sociologist Manuel Castells, social changes are characterized by transformation of space and time in human experience. Considering the social evolution especially post Covid, a number of subjects that need an in-depth study include religious identity, gender discrimination, digital divide, environmental governance, education policy and effect of infodemic.
This book, Information Age: Culture, Identity & Society draws attention on around 14 important subjects that emerged during and post Covid crises. As a transition between the Pre-Corona and Post-Corona period, this book reflects on a range of subjects, including: mapping of Muslim identity, gender discrimination, social and psychological effects of aggressive presentation on TV news, gender digital divide in India, environmental impact assessment, practices of environmental journalism, new education policy of India, social media habits, Covid-19 infodemic, evolution of visual communication, trends in advertising, freedom on OTT platforms, evolution of sketching etc.
Author Vinit Kumar Jha and Mukta Martolia used a discourse analysis approach to study social media mapping of Muslim identity in India. The authors collected data from the Facebook walls and found that social media users considered Tablighis Jamaat as anti-social community that embarrassed the entire Muslim community for spreading Corona in India.
In a chapter on Gender Discrimination and Role of Media, authors C.P. Rashmi and Ritu Sanjeev Sood discuss the reasons for gender gap such as sexual harassment, wage-discrimination, violence, masculinity and media, etc. They also discuss the key highlights of gender gap report 2021 in which India is ranked 140 out of 150 nations. With the help of various case studies, researchers concluded that male child is still preferred over a female child in middle and upper-middle class families. Male child is also seen under pressure sue to cultural norms.
While studying the socio and psychological effect of aggressive presentation on TV news, authors Kiran Panchal and Lalita Minocha strongly suggested journalists and news anchors to strike a balance between social responsibility and commercial interests of journalism.
In an interesting review of environmental impact assessment for environmental governance, authors Sayani Das and Archan Mitra urged the government to have a viable information and communication infrastructure in place for a balanced development.
In their analysis of the new education policy, opportunities and challenges in India, authors Ritu S Sood, Sanjeev Sood and CP Rashmi feel that NEP 2020 offers high quality, liberal education system that is good not only for a knowledge economy but it is also mindful of other aspects of overall growth such as happiness, livelihood and creativity of an individual. Skill-based learning will help in bringing the much-needed change in Indian education system.
This book picks up issues from our daily lives and studies them in detail. It’s an honest attempt to understand social evolution of our culture, identity and brings out an overall understanding of the changing social structures with empirical findings. The book is recommended for academicians, scholars, media researchers, media students and those interested in studying recent social trends with some very interesting facts and case studies.
Thus, the aim of this study is to find out journalists’ use of social media platforms. Specifically, social media usage to build professional identity is studied by interviewing selected journalists from J&K. This research helps in gaining more perspectives of journalists from both public and private media on the subject through qualitative interviews. The results indicate that most journalists use only one or two social media platforms, mainly Facebook and Twitter followed by other platforms like Instagram. Social networking sites attract professional journalists from across the globe and with the growing demand for mobile news content, engagement between journalists and audience is on the rise. Considering this expansion, journalists are benefitted by presenting their identity in a way that is more truthful to help serve the profession better. However, the study concludes that journalists must be careful while sharing both content and identity on social media platforms as compared to users with no journalism background and feel that social media has made their job even more difficult and challenging.