We Don't Need Cinderella: Changing Gender Identities on YouTube Comedy in India
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This paper analyses the emergent voices of young Indians in YouTube comedy sketches. As a format, YouTube comedy sketches have become popular among Indian youth for their ability to critique cultural norms, albeit with a sense of humor. Through a textual analysis of shows produced by YouTube comedy groups, this paper will survey the emergent voices in YouTube comedy and how they challenge mainstream Indian media. Comedy YouTube channels offer a humorous take on issues related to street harassment, marital rape, religion and politics. The content and design of the shows are aimed to dismantle existing portrayals of youth in Indian media and question tradition. The sketches usually show women and men redefining their identities and offering new perspectives on Indian issues by employing satire and parody. This paper therefore investigates how Indians are using humor to create traction for various issues and using YouTube as a platform to criticize gender norms.