From Here to Modernity: Identities and aspirationalism on Chinese and Indian lifestyle programming

TitleFrom Here to Modernity: Identities and aspirationalism on Chinese and Indian lifestyle programming
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Lewis, T., and W. Sun
Affiliation (1st Author)RMIT University
Section or WGPolitical Economy Section
DateSat 29 June
Slot CodePES1a
Slot Code (Keyword)PES1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
RoomQG21
Session TitleNational Inflections in Global Television
Submission ID6092
Abstract

China and India possess large and complex television markets. While it is hard to make generalizations in a post-liberalized environment one indisputable trend is the increased targeting of an emerging echelon of middle class viewers. In recent years, programming has grown to include a swathe of shows providing lifestyle advice to this growing aspirational group. Drawing upon extensive empirical research, this paper examines the modes of sociality and selfhood modeled on Indian and Chinese lifestyle television. While such shows can be read as normalising a globalized, middle class consumer culture they need to be understood in the context of the specificity of classed identities and the differentiated experiences of modernity across both countries, in terms of the role of the state, internal spatial and regional inequality, and traditional values and practices. This paper adopts a ‘multiple modernities’ approach, foregrounding the cultural complexities of the aspirational identities promoted on these shows.

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