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The Global Desi notes

The Global Desi notes - The Global Desi Cultural...

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1 The Global Desi : Cultural Nationalism on MTV India Jocelyn Cullity Journal Of Communication Inquiry, vol. Journal Of Communication Inquiry, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 408 26, no. 4, pp. 408- 425, October 2002 425, October 2002 India India’ s New Nationalism s New Nationalism This new nationalism emerges most clearly in the active and self-conscious indigenization of global media. (Where) a wired-in middle class effectively forced the indigenization of programming on MTV India, programming that was initially aimed at a more abstract global audience. MTV India localized its programming and then offer an interpretation of how the new nationalism created by this localization hinges paradoxically on its own globalized dimension, how the global and the local, the cosmopolitan and the traditional, modernity and tradition, are all inextricably bound together in a hybrid I call the “global desi .” A Nation of Its Own: The Wired-In Middle Class This very small elite group was located mainly in such metropolitan centers as Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, and Delhi andwas usually connected to the upper echelons of the colonial-capitalist project and/or Indian royalty. More recently emerged a much greater middle class of India in the 1990s, a class that is both a product of independence and the driving force of a new consumer culture. The older upper-class elite tends to look at this middle class with a certain amount of disdain, seeing it as vulgarly nouveau riche, and not traditionally educated with grandfathers, for instance, who spoke English. They are seen as swarming holiday spots blaring their music, clutching their cell phones, buying, and gawking like those one might imagine at Disneyland.
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2 A Nation of Its Own: The Wired-In Middle Class They (new middle class) constitute 30 percent of India’s population, or 300 million people. This is the target group for MTV and other satellite stations. • MTV’s director of strategy and research, Sangeeta Gupta, said, “First and foremost you want to leave out the 700 million in rural India and look at things only for the 300 million,” or about thirty cities in India. A Nation of Its Own: The Wired-In Middle Class In five years’ time, the country went from one government- run channel, DD, to sixty-nine channels. Overnight, CNN, MTV, and a host of other channels were within people’s living spaces twenty-four hours a day. Satellite has opened a window to worlds that were once only accessible to the well-to-do. At the same time, the computer industry exploded in India, resulting in more overseas jobs in the United States and in Europe, a fact that in turn has resulted in an increased familiarity with other lifestyles. India also has seen a surge in Bollywood (India’s very productive commercial film industry centered in Bombay/Mumbai) box office hits, as producers rush to make films specifically targeted at this trend-setting, middle-class, urban audience.
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