Abstract

Developing from the field of behavior change through design, this study investigated if communication design is an effective tool in changing cultural behaviors and perceptions of gender in India. Previous studies on gender violence campaigns (Gadornski, 2001; Murphy, 2009; Kostick et al., 2011) suggest utilising men and traditional gender stereotypes are effective in creating behavior change. Yet there exists a gap on specific cultural roles and changing ingrained behaviors. This study focuses on the necessary recognition of cultural traditions and behaviours that must precede any design activity within an epistemological setting. Developing communication strategy within sensitive and complex social issues must be created in full recognition of cultural inflections on patriarchy and sociological insights. I conducted two stages of investigation. First, male Indian participants were interviewed about gender equality in India. Second, participants completed self documentation kits, which focused on perceptions of gender. Insights indicated the term gender equality was misunderstood with many believing India was very much an equal society for men and women. I argue that the findings from this study can position a communication campaign that is culturally relevant, can tackle gender violence from an insider perspective, and can promote behavior change within the Indian context.

Keywords:

Design; India; Gender; Behaviour change; Equality

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Communication design as an agent in creating gender equality in India

Developing from the field of behavior change through design, this study investigated if communication design is an effective tool in changing cultural behaviors and perceptions of gender in India. Previous studies on gender violence campaigns (Gadornski, 2001; Murphy, 2009; Kostick et al., 2011) suggest utilising men and traditional gender stereotypes are effective in creating behavior change. Yet there exists a gap on specific cultural roles and changing ingrained behaviors. This study focuses on the necessary recognition of cultural traditions and behaviours that must precede any design activity within an epistemological setting. Developing communication strategy within sensitive and complex social issues must be created in full recognition of cultural inflections on patriarchy and sociological insights. I conducted two stages of investigation. First, male Indian participants were interviewed about gender equality in India. Second, participants completed self documentation kits, which focused on perceptions of gender. Insights indicated the term gender equality was misunderstood with many believing India was very much an equal society for men and women. I argue that the findings from this study can position a communication campaign that is culturally relevant, can tackle gender violence from an insider perspective, and can promote behavior change within the Indian context.

 

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