Governing a Seamless Sociality: Beyond Old and New Media

  • Amulya Anita Gurumurthy
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  • Amulya Anita Gurumurthy

    Student in India

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The architecture of the online world along with the cultures of new media are significant in perpetuating male dominant discourses. Rather than dismantling this hierarchical organisation of the digital paradigm, the approach of the family, intermediaries, the law and the state more often than not cements patriarchy. The private family, which the law will not encroach is particularly problematic when one considers how the family is an institution that oppresses women and prevents them from exercising agency online and offline. The family emerges as a significant locus that systematically polices women’s online personas by enforcing customary law. While the ‘law in books’ guarantee women equality of status and opportunity, ‘law in action’ results in significant differences in the way women access new media. The police’s patriarchal perceptions results in the denial of justice for women who have faced online sexual abuse. Male morality gains precedence over women’s agency over their own bodies as the police favours the usage of Section 67 of the Information Technology Act over Section 66 E, despite the fact that the latter is more progressive as it derives its essence from consent rather than obscenity. Thus, in regulating the digital realm the nature of law manifests as not only furthering patriarchal interests but also centres on protecting womanhood, not women. The approach of the law in governing online relations leaves much to be desired because those who frame and implement the law very much inhabit the paradigm of patriarchy. Further, online cultures and institutional predispositions result in the routinised assertion of male power and privilege. In effect, the unequal relations of the offline world are mirrored online.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 4, Page 2253 - 2259


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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