Good Girls Don’t Go Online: Unpacking the Quotidian Playful Resilience Influencing Girls’ Social and Digital Engagements

Kiran Vinod Bhatia, Payal Arora, Manisha Pathak-Shelat


In this study, we examine the ways in which young girls from low-income communities exercise their autonomy and agency in their engagement with digital technologies and, at times, show compliance with social norms when online. Based on our findings from our ethnographic fieldwork, we argue that young girls’ engagement with digital technologies reflects both submission to the dominant gender, class realities, and a sustained desire to create a fraying around the edges of systems for gendered surveillance-discipline. We develop the concept of “quotidian playful resilience” (QPR) to unpack the influence of gender norms and class-based experiences on young girls’ everyday digital practices. We define QPR as a meta practice that informs how girls access, use, and navigate digital technologies—including the infrastructural affordances and limitations and the realm of the digitalscape. The study explores the productive associations between gender, class, and technology in young girls’ digital encounters in India.


social surveillance, online participation, India, creative insurgencies, quotidian playful resilience

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