Reclaiming the City: Ethnographic Insights into Facebook Usage among Young Men in Pune, India by Mr Rahul Advani
Date : 17 Oct 2018
Time : 16:00 - 17:30
Venue : AS8 Level 4, Seminar Room 04-04
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
National University of Singapore @ KRC


Dr Meghan Downes, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and Monash University, Australia


In 2017, India overtook the United States to become the country with the highest number of Facebook users in the world, the majority of whom are male, under the age of 25, and first-time users of the internet. In focusing on this particular demographic of young men in the western Indian city of Pune, I argue that their practices of online friendship, rather than collapsing space and time, enable them to contest their marginality from the city. By remapping the city on Facebook, they make themselves legible via the network that does not include them. On the other hand, young men who occupy a more privileged position in the city search for internet speed by inscribing new timezones of friendship into the city. Based on twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in Pune, my paper illustrates how the internet becomes crucial to the ways in which young men navigate the complex rhythms of the city.


Rahul Advani is a final year PhD candidate in Anthropology at the India Institute, King's College London. Rahul's research interests include friendship, youth, consumer cultures, cities and digital technologies. Prior to beginning his PhD, Rahul worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of South Asian Studies (NUS) and Tutor at the South Asian Studies Programme (SASP), and co-authored the book "Singapore and India: Towards a Shared Future" (2015). Rahul is currently writing up his doctoral thesis, titled "Online and 'Real Lives': The Anthropology of Facebook and Friendship among Middle Class Young Men in an Indian City". His ongoing research can be viewed on a website he launched earlier this year at


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Contact Person(s)
Minghua TAY