1st Edition

Popular Culture in a Globalised India

ISBN 9780415476676
Published January 29, 2009 by Routledge
312 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

USD $54.95

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Book Description

As India celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of its independence, much praise was lavished on its emergence as a major player on the global stage. Its economic transformation and geopolitical significance as a nuclear power are matched by its globally resonant cultural resources. 

This book explores India’s rich popular culture. Chapters provide illuminating insights into various aspects of the social, cultural, economic and political realities of contemporary globalised India. Structured thematically and drawing on a broad range of academic disciplines, the book deals with critical issues including:

-   Film, television and TV soaps

-   Folk theatre, Mahabharata-Ramayana ,myths, performance, ideology and religious nationalism

-   Music, dance and fashion

-   Comics, cartoons, photographs, posters and advertising

-   Cyberculture and the software industry

-   Indian feminisms

-   Sports and tourism

-   Food culture

Offering comprehensive coverage of the emerging discipline of popular culture in India, this book is essential reading for courses on Indian popular culture and a useful resource for more general courses in the field of cultural studies, media studies, history, literary studies and communication studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction by K. Moti Gokulsing and Wimal Dissanayake

Part One

  1. Local Resistance to Global Bangalore-Reading Minority Indian Cinema by M. K. Raghavendra
  2. Breaking News , Indian style: Politics, Democracy and Indian News Television by Nalin Metha
  3. Emancipation or anchored individualism? Women and TV soaps in India by ShehinaFazal
  4. Indian Feminisms: Issues of sexuality and representation by Geetanjali Gangoli
  5. Part Two

  6. The Tragada Bhavaiya Contribution to the making of Hindu Identity in Saurastra by Jayasinhji Jhala
  7. The Mahabharata’s Imprint on Contemporary Literature and Film by Pamela Lothspeich
  8. India: Religious Nationalism and changing profile of Popular Culture by Ram Puniyani
  9. Part Three

  10. Private Music: Individualism, Authenticity, and Genre Boundaries in Bombay Music Industry by Peter Kevetko
  11. Indian Popular Culture and its ‘others’: Bollywood dance and anti-nautch in twenty first century global India by Anna Morcom
  12. From Zenana to Cinema : The impact of Royal Aesthetics on Bollywood Film by Angma D. Jhala
  13. Part Four

  14. Gods, Kings, and Local Telugu Guys: Competing Visions of the Heroic in Indian Comic Books by Karline McLain
  15. The Gated Romance of ‘India Shining’: Visualising Urban Lifestyle in Advertisement of Residential Housing Development by Christiane Brosius
  16. Advertising in a globalised India by Lynne Ciochetto
  17. Part Five

  18. India goes to the Blogs: Cyberspace, Identity, Community by Pramod K. Nayar
  19. The Indian software industry-cultural factors underpinning its evolution by Florian Taeube
  20. Part Six

  21. Opiate of the Masses or None in a Billion Trying to unravel the Indian Sporting Mystery by Boria Majumdar
  22. Going Places: Popular Tourism Writing in India by Anna Kurian

    Part Seven

  24. The Discreet Charm of Indian Street-food by Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay


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K. Moti Gokulsing is Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of East London. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the journal South Asian Popular Culture (SAPC) published by Routledge. His Illusions of a South Asian Identity was published in the April 2008 issue of SAPC.

Wimal Dissanayake is a Professor in the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii. He is the founding editor of the East-West Film Journal and the author and editor of a large number of books including   Global/Local: Cultural Production and the Transnational Imaginary. He is also a distinguished creative writer who has won Sri Lankan national awards for his poetry and literary writings.



‘This riveting collection of essays on popular culture in a globalised India represents a rich tapestry of colors, patterns and textures, woven by a team of expert weavers’. - Arvind Singhal, University of Texas, El Paso, USA  

'Over the last two decades, Moti Gokulsing has been tireless in his efforts to widen the understanding of popular media in South Asia, particularly Indian cinema, in the global academe. His new effort and that of his co-editor Wimal Dissanayake are an imposing effort to combine scholarship with new perspectives on the changing landscape of the popular modes of self-expression in the region. It is bound to attract the attention of both academics and general readers.' - Ashis Nandy, Centre for the Developing Societies, India

'This edited collection presents some of the most exciting interdisciplinary scholarship on popular culture in contemporary India. For over two decades, Indian popular culture has undergone rapid and decisive changes resulting from the liberalisation of the economy and the influx of transnational media. These developments have had profound consequences for the lives and aspirations of many Indians, particularly those residing in urban areas. The essays in this volume track some of the shifts that have occurred, witha sensitive eye to how these changes have implicated social and cultural life in contemporary India: its large canvas encapsulates topics ranging from food culture and cyber culture to print culture and fashion, in addition to film and television. One of the most remarkable features of this collection of essays is its sensitivity to the nuances of local specificities even as it keeps in mind the bigger picture of some of the larger changes taking place on a national and global scale. I cannot wait to read and teach this book, and draw on it for my own research.' - Purnima Mankekar, University of California Los Angeles, USA

'This is a book which stands out for its range and variety, and overall, is one which provides both students and scholars with a ready resource for the study of India’s popular culture. It is a book which should be equally accessible to researchers and the general reader.' - Sharmishtha Gooptu, Biblio, December 2009

"It is lively and authoritative and a very good read indeed" - Dr Gillian Klein in Race Equality Teaching Volume 28 No 1 Winter 2009 p.42