Date of Award

June 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


Carol M. Liebler


counterpublic, group communication, LGBTQ, Social Identity, social media, South Asian studies

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


India has emerged as one of the top users of the Internet. However, the question is how the rise of the Internet influences a society like India, which is still struggling with issues like poverty, literacy, employment, religion, and gender. This research endeavors to explore one aspect of that question by studying the role of the social media platform – Facebook Groups, for the LGBTQ community in India against the backdrop of the societal taboos and lack of legal support for the queer community, coupled with the existing infrastructural loopholes like education and technology. Over the past couple of decades, India has been witnessing a wave of change as conversations surrounding non-normative gender and sexuality is on the rise. Following from the social identity theory, social identity model of de-individuation effects (SIDE), and the theory of counterpublics, this sequential mixed methods research analyzes and presents an understanding of the relationship that exists between social media, identity, LGBTQ community, and the Indian social context. It is hoped that it will add to the conversation surrounding social media and identity, particularly queer identity, and enable an understanding into how social media can be used for identity construction for a minority population like the queer community, in a socio-cultural context like India.


Open Access