South-Asian diaspora women are a marginalized group in the countries where they reside in. This marginalization has led to their voices being unheard or ignored within their own community as well as in the culture they live in. This merge of two cultures is also known as hybrid culture. Moreover, the representation on South-Asian diaspora women has been lacking in mainstream media and because of this a trend on Instagram is seen with the appearance of accounts that promote South-Asian diaspora culture, which is mostly centered around the diaspora women. These accounts are considered activists because they encourage their agenda as to how the South-Asian diaspora community can be bettered, especially for women. On this activism they monetize as well because they create art, merchandize, and curated boxes with products that represent their hybrid culture, and sell those to their followers. Furthermore, this research is a qualitative content analysis about digital activism and its monetization on Instagram. The research question is: How is Instagram used as a tool for digital activism and monetization by women of the South-Asian diaspora? In this research three case studies, @browngirlgang, @thepakistanimarthastewart, and @hatecopy were examined in order to answer the research question. The data gathered were Instagram posts by the aforementioned accounts, which includes the visuals and the caption in the post. The sample consisted of 165 posts. Additionally, the data has been analyzed following the process of thematic analysis and was assisted through a theoretical framework based on theories of hybrid culture, voices, and visual activism. What was found in this study is that the case studies indeed used Instagram as a platform for their activism because of the convenience it offers when it comes to content sharing and follower engagement. They also all partook in the monetization of this activism by offering their own products for sale and also promoting other (female-owned) South-Asian brands. What could be further concluded from the findings that was noticeable from the case studies, was that they shifted the narrative and portrayal of South-Asian women as victims and helpless to independent and taking up space to be heard. This ranged from career freedom, not adhering to gender roles, and speaking up.

, , , , , ,
Evolvi, G.
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Chedalal, Rochella. (2020, June 29). How South-Asian Diaspora Women Utilize Instagram As A Platform For Activism And Monetization: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis. Media & Business. Retrieved from