28 August 2019

Research pick: Social media in a repressive society - "The transformative influence of social media: an exploratory case study of empowerment in repressive society"

Social media is affecting all our lives in ways we are only just beginning to recognise, whether it is the simple, but constant preoccupation many people have with sharing their digital lives or connecting with friends and family to the outpourings of politicians that are the vanguard of modern propaganda that seems to win elections. In what we might refer to as repressive societies, social media is also having an effect on society. Indeed, it is providing a medium for empowerment that has not existed before.

Research published in the International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, focuses on one particular aspect – the issues facing transgender entrepeneurs in India, a country considered to present particular restrictions to certain minority groups that may well not be of such concern in freer societies. Guruprasad Gadgil of the Francis Marion University, near Florence, South Carolina, and Gayle Prybutok and Victor Prybutok of the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA, explain that research in this area is lacking. They have now carried out a case study, which they say is a first step towards addressing the research gap.

“A key finding points out the important role that social networking plays in entrepreneurial success when the transgender entrepreneur’s skill set is an integral part of a small scale or family business endeavour,” the team says. “This study suggests future research directed at understanding the unique aspects of transgender entrepreneurism in India and informs on entrepreneurism and public policy in India about this population of entrepreneurs.” They conclude that “This research has filled an identified research gap and highlighted the challenges of this unique group of entrepreneurs.”

Gadgil, G., Prybutok, G. and Prybutok, V. (2018) ‘The transformative influence of social media: an exploratory case study of empowerment in repressive society‘, Int. J. Electronic Healthcare, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp.231-248.

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