A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Digital Inequality and Relatedness in India after Access (2023)

Tenhunen, S. (2023). Digital Inequality and Relatedness in India after Access. In E. Costa, P. G. Lange, N. Haynes, & J. Sinanan (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Media Anthropology (pp. 343-354). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003175605-34

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsTenhunen, Sirpa

Parent publicationThe Routledge Companion to Media Anthropology

Parent publication editorsCosta, Elisabetta; Lange, Patricia G.; Haynes, Nell; Sinanan, Jolynna



Publication year2023

Publication date30/09/2022

Pages range343-354

Number of pages in the book644


Place of PublicationAbingdon

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open accessChannel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/85407


The scholarship on digital inequality and divides has relied mainly on quantitative data and such general criteria for digital inequality as access, motivation, skills, and the autonomy of use to measure the empowering effects of internet access. This chapter develops a novel way to understand digital inequality based on ethnographic fieldwork on smartphone use in rural and urban India among low-income and little-educated people. It analyses digital inequality through the concept of digital relatedness exploring how people’s digital media use is embedded in social relationships and how media use serves to refashion relationships and hierarchies. The chapter argues that the focus on autonomous uses can leave unacknowledged a great variety of digital practices, which users can find valuable and even transformative. It also demonstrates how even seemingly autonomous media use is embedded in social relationships in the sense that people usually learn their uses from others.

KeywordsinequalitydigitalisationInternetsmartphonessocial mediasocial relations

Free keywordsIndia

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 17:06