This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
A Thesis In MASS COMMUNICATIONS Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Texas Tech University in Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS Approved Harsha Gangadharbatla Committee Chair Todd Chambers Kent Wilkinson Fred Hartmeister Dean of the Graduate School August, 2009
Copyright 2009, Lakshmi N. Tirumala
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
I acknowledge my family who supported me throughout this study. I would like to thank my parents for their emotional support during stressful times, and my brother and sister-in-law for their patience, critiques and valuable inputs. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Todd Chambers, who served the roles of a Chairperson, mentor and friend throughout my masters program at Texas Tech. His very presence and positive encouragement gave me the much needed motivation and mental strength to continue with the research at times when I was completely lost. He was always there to assist me with my academic and personal growth, and I am very grateful for his invaluable guidance throughout this process. Also, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Kent Wilkinson, whose support and encouragements gave me the confidence to take on any daunting tasks. He was able to find time to listen to my ideas and lead me towards the right path when I was completely clueless. I am very thankful to him for being there whenever I needed him. Also, other faculty members and staff in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University should be acknowledged for their help and encouragements throughout my graduate program. Specifically, I would like to thank Dr. Michael Parkinson, one of the best graduate student advisors the college could ever find, for his support. A special thanks goes out to Dr. Harsha Gangadharbhatla who served as much more than a primary thesis advisor, but also the role of a friend throughout my masters program. And lastly, thanks to Josh Robinson, Randy Hays, Jessica Robinson, and Brian who were always willing to help whenever called upon. Finally, my good friends Andrea Smith, Anthony Galvez, Arijit Basu, Emily Buck, and Philip Madison who helped with providing the much needed laughs and memories. Thank you for understanding and being there for me. ii
..............................................................5 On being “Indian”..........................................................................................v List of Tables...............................37 iii .....................................................................................................................................................................................37 Qualitative research ..............................................................................................10 The Indian Diaspora .........................20 Asia ...................................................................................... vi I................22 United Kingdom and Europe .....................................................................................................21 Africa and Russia.1 Reasons for the Popularity................15 A Brief History of Bollywood Industry ........................................................25 The Circuit of Culture............................................................................................................................................................................................21 Oceania ...........................................23 III............................................................................... Introduction ................................................... ii Abstract ...15 Bollywood & Diaspora ........... Aug.......................................................................................................................................31 IV..................11 Cultural Identity.................................................................................................................................................22 Bollywood in United States ........12 II.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Methodology .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................26 The Concept of Ethnic Identity..........28 Cultural Identity of Asian Americans.................... Tirumala...................................... Theoretical Framework ........... Lakshmi N............................................................ 2009 Table of Contents Acknowledgements .................................................. Literature Review ........................................................................1 Bollywood Movies and Identity .....Texas Tech University...................25 Cultural Studies ......................................
............................................................................................................71 References.....................41 Coding ...........................................43 V........................Texas Tech University...........................................39 Focus Groups ......................53 Friends ..................................................... Interview Consent form ..............................................................58 The influence of Bollywood movies on cultural identity ..................................................................................................................80 A..................................... Focus group Consent form ..... Aug.........................................................................................................................50 Institutions ................................................................ Discussion Guide ............. Tirumala..............................................................................................................................................88 B........................................... Lakshmi N..............................................55 Media ..................... Conclusion and Limitations ................................................ 2009 In-depth interviews ... Plot Summaries .........................................................................................................................................94 D................................................................................................... Findings and Discussion ...........................................44 Constructing Identity ..........................................................................................64 VI............................................................................................95 iv ..............................................................................................................92 C............46 Family ............................
Lakshmi N. 2009 Abstract Indian cinema has been one of the most dominant and distinguishing features of the subcontinent’s culture for the past sixty years. Previous research suggests that the Indian Diaspora may use these types of media products as a form of cultural maintenance. v . Bollywood movies appeared to have a significant influence on second-generation Indian Americans in maintaining those identities. as Indians continue to seek out jobs and educational opportunities worldwide.” Discussions generated across in-depth interviews (N = 8) and focus groups (N = 8) about the process of participants’ cultural identity construction and maintenance showed that the cultural identity of second-generation Indian Americans depended on various interpersonal and mediated communication activities. but they help transmit the culture and traditions that play a crucial role in maintaining the “Indianness. And. this study seeks to demonstrate how Bollywood film viewing practices of the second-generation Indian Americans intersect to create a notion of “Indianness. Tirumala. This thesis explores the role of Bollywood movies in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity among secondgeneration Indian Americans. In particular.” among second-generation Indian Americans. they are bringing these cultural artifacts with them. the study found that though social factors such as family and peer groups have played a dominant role in constructing the Indian identity. Aug. Interestingly.Texas Tech University. Bollywood movies not only act as a bridge between home and diaspora.
. Demographics and movie watching frequency ........ Aug.....3 2........................ Tirumala.... 2009 List of Tables 1..... Lakshmi N..........Texas Tech University.................................45 3......... Summary of research findings.................................................................. Indian Film Industry vs Hollywood in 2008 ...................................72 vi .......................
and the connections that viewers make with the movies themes. Lakshmi N. education. 2009 Chapter I Introduction Films are a common source of entertainment. Janes. Aug. plots. our personal identities are in constant flux. ‘What is my true “identity”?’ has become a fundamental and yet significant question in one’s life. and characters. and representation) are explored through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with secondgeneration Indian Americans. using the circuit of culture (du Gay. Tirumala. through which people are becoming aware of different cultures from all over the world. identity. This qualitative research study is based on cultural studies and seeks to explore the role of Bollywood movies in identity construction among second-generation Indian Americans. The circuit of culture suits the proposed study well because of the consumption of Bollywood movies by second-generation Indian Americans. a great deal has 1 . Mackay. Bollywood Movies and Identity In today’s world of global movement and cultural hybridity. 1997). representations of the Indian culture in the movies. Hall.Texas Tech University. The three moments from the circuit of culture (consumption. and information across the United States. In recent times. Beard (1994) observed that films are among the most common artifacts of modern popular culture that generate and reflect diverse cultures and the traditional values of a society. So. Consequently films have become a major part of modern society. and Negus.
Appadurai. before we look into the significance of Bollywood movies. with technological advancements. in this globalized world. 2009 been studied in the area of “cultural identity” and on the concept “home” with some of the most important contributions towards this research study coming from cultural studies area (Bandyopadhyay. 1990. Uberoi. it is essential for us to know about Indian cinema and the reasons for its popularity among Indians as well as for the Indian diaspora. 1998). most commonly known as Bollywood (although Bollywood represents Hindi film 2 . Electronic media have been the essential tools for the diaspora in re-rooting their identities (Appadurai. 1996). Appadurai has argued that “because of its sheer multiplicity in which they appear (films. 2006. and especially the phenomenal success of Hindi movies (also known as Bollywood) among the Indian diaspora (Dudrah. TV. preserving and maintaining one’s own culture and identity has become a serious challenge.Texas Tech University. Palmer. However. 2008. 1990. 1999). internet and telephones) and because of the rapid way in which they move through daily life. p.4). it is important to study the role of Bollywood movies in Indian diasporic identity construction. Tirumala. Aug. diasporic communities are able to stay connected with their homeland and maintain their self-identity. According to Basu (2004). While commenting on the influence of electronic media on the diapsoric community. However. electronic media provide diapsoric communities with resources for self-imagining that help maintain the identity” (Appadurai. Indian cinema has been one of the most dominant and distinguishing features of the subcontinent’s popular culture for the past sixty years. The Indian cinema industry. With the increasing popularity of electronic media. Lakshmi N.
Lakshmi N. 2008) provided the following figures and estimates. or ‘Bollywood’ as it is commonly called.Texas Tech University. Table 1 compared the size and global reach of the two most prolific film industries. 2006). which are popular throughout India and among expatriate Indians living abroad. individual states such as West Bengal. the film business in India is decentralized (Srinivas.S $ 3 million Hollywood 800 3 billion U. Table 1. Pricewaterhouse Coopers Ltd (FICCI-Pricewaterhouse. Mumbai. produces Hindi-language films. 2008) Unlike Hollywood.S $60 million *National Film Production 2008 ** Estimates 2009 (FICCI-Pricewaterhouse. Tamil Nadu. Aug.2 billion U. To satisfy the 14 million Indians who go to the cinema every day. Tirumala. and Kerala also produce films in regional languages (Booth. which only produces about half that number. 2009 industry alone).100 4 billion U. 2002). is the world’s largest film industry in terms of the number of films produced. 3 . Andhra Pradesh.S $ 56 billion U.S $ 2. Karnataka. the Indian film industry produces more than 1000 films each year compared to Hollywood. Indian Film Industry vs Hollywood in 2008 Indian Film Industry Films Produced* Tickets sold World Wide revenues** Average cost per film 1. though not for its financial returns (Dwyer. Though Bollywood is the best-known Indian film industry. 1995).
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
Indian cinema has always found a market overseas with a limited number of films being exported to countries such as the Soviet Union, Middle East, parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, the United States, Australia and Great Britain (Srinivas, 2002). Recently, western interest in Bollywood has been rapidly growing as India’s largest film industry based in Mumbai has been producing more than 400 films every year (Rao, 2007). Through the years, Bollywood’s annual output of more than 400 films a year that accumulates 3.6 billion audience members across the world has become a necessary comfort for the South Asian diaspora communities (Chopra, 2007). Through its rich cultural textures and images, Bollywood cinema has facilitated a platform by which the South Asian diaspora can stay connected to the homeland. Hindi film blockbusters are now exported in large numbers of subtitled prints to the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Popular newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post have started publishing regular reviews of Bollywood movies. Stadtler (2005) observed that the popularity of Bollywood cinema in the United States and United Kingdom has been on the rise since the year 2000, with the exposure of South Asian popular culture reaching an all time high. As Rajadhyaksha (2003) noted, “there is a craze for ‘Bollywood’ movies that quite exceeds anything we have seen before” (p. 24). This fondness for Bollywood cinema began with films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Taal (1999), Lagaan (2001) and Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), which achieved success in overseas markets; in fact these movies stayed among the top ten grossing films of the 4
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
year in United States and United Kingdom (Rajadhyaksha, 2003). Since then, India’s movie exports to the United States increased dramatically from $10 million a decade ago to $2 billion last year. The following are some of the reasons for Bollywood’s everincreasing popularity. Reasons for the Popularity One of the significant reasons for the increase in popularity is due to the change in producers’ attitudes towards the motion picture business. Film producers like Ronnie Screwvala and Aditya Chopra have begun professionalizing the cinema business, bringing in outside investors and aggressively marketing films with novel plots (Gyalzen, 2007). Their production companies have successfully cut the old format of three-and-half hour movies to a fast-paced 120 minutes and have hired Hollywood scriptwriters to make films more appealing and watchable. This is particularly a significant factor in Bollywood’s popularity as the new movie format that will break into the Indian diapsora more often that the age-old Bollywood movies (Overdorf, 2007). One example for such successful collaboration was the recent blockbuster by Mira Nair’s New York based production, The Namesake, a story about the relationships and identity struggles between the son and his Indian immigrant parents. The film grossed close to $14 million at the box office with nearly 95 percent of the ticket sales generated from the United States (Overdorf, 2007). This international reach of Bollywood is rather important as it assures financial returns and
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
also increases the interest among Indian diasporic community to watch the new short and slick Bollywood movies. Second, the Indian movie industry started enjoying an impressive boom due to the improved Indian economy with a significant number of Indians getting wealthier and spending more on entertainment. Lovgren (2004) observed that the telecommunications revolution and information technology explosion witnessed an all-time growth in the Indian economy that propelled the middle class life style into newer heights. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute also discovered that Indian consumer spending increased from $250 billion in 2004 to $400 billion by 2007 (Ablett, Baijal, Beinhocker, Bose, Farrell, Gersch, Greenberg, Gupta, and Gupta, 2007). The economic boom and improved conditions of the middle class sector greatly encouraged Bollywood producers to invest more money in films and to improve technical quality in order to ensure maximum financial returns both in domestic and overseas market. According to Aditya Chopra, one of the popular Bollywood producers, as technical quality advances, moviegoers come in increasing numbers to watch these latest movies (Overdorf, 2007). Another important reason for Bollywood’s popularity can be attributed to the growing Indian population overseas. The Indian population around the world is estimated around 25 million consisting of both non-resident Indians (a.k.a. NRI) and persons of Indian origin (a.k.a. POI) (Indian diaspora, n.d.). The Indian community in the United States alone increased from 1.68 million in 2000 to close to 2.5 million in 2005 (Joseph, 2006). The U.S. census bureau found that the Indians are the fastest growing community 6
and Australia. Researchers like Kaur and Sinha (2005) suggested that DVD. New media technologies like satellites. and Australia.” a phenomenon unique to the Indian diaspora community to stay connected to the homeland. 2005).).2 billion annual revenue comes largely from these overseas markets where Indian communities provide a great number of audiences for theatrical releases and DVD sales. n. Finally. Representation of the Indian diaspora. Bollywood exports play an important role in Indian film industry’s growing popularity overseas. As stated earlier. the Internet and digital home video devices such as DVD’s have opened new distribution channels to bring Bollywood into the living rooms. Tirumala. and satellite television have cultivated and increased number of fans in countries like Great Britain. This essentially popularized Bollywood movies in countries like the United States. the Internet. and foreign locations made Bollywood movies a household name amongst diasporic communities (Kaur and Sinha. 2009 among Asian communities in U.S (Indian American population. The era of globalization effectively placed Indian film industry on a global platform. Thussu (2008) observed that the availability of these new delivery and distribution mechanisms have contributed to the global visibility of popular Indian cinema. the United States.d. Aug. According to the Internet Movie 7 . Lakshmi N. the most common tool for a force of bonding through entertainment media would be “Hindi cinema. Great Britain. New Zealand.Texas Tech University. Dave (2007) observed that roughly half of Bollywood’s estimated $2.
2007).Texas Tech University. films from India do more business in the United States than films from any other country (Joseph. As Chopra (2007) observed Bollywood is not just a style of filmmaking. Lakshmi N. Aug. Yash Raj Films. With popular Indian television channels playing Bollywood movies at least once a day and the Internet providing various options to watch Bollywood movies. and innovative story lines (Bose. 2009 Database. as the $100 million accounts to a huge amount in Indian currency. Indian heritage and culture and Indian nationhood. Tirumala. 2005). one of India’s largest film production and distribution companies. The aforementioned reasons make Bollywood films a much sought after entertainment source for Indians living in India as well as abroad. one may safely assume that Bollywood movies are becoming an integral part of the Indian diaspora through which they can stay in touch and maintain Indian traditions and culture. 8 . reported that Bollywood films in the United States earn approximately $100 million a year through theatre screenings. According to the table 1 estimations this $100 million represents film production costs for approximately 33 Indian films compared to about 2 films in Hollywood. it is a culture and a religion unto itself. video sales and the sale of movie soundtracks (Overdorf. Although it seems a small number in comparison to Hollywood financial returns. Dissanayake (2006) argued that the diaporic communities are becoming more interested in Bollywood films that deal with Indian history. cinematography. these revenues contribute significantly to drive Indian filmmaking to new heights in terms of quality. 2006).
Therefore. For example. and body language with utmost sincerity. cultural adjustments patterns like changes in life styles. who were born and brought up in the United States. particularly in United States. however. Considering the popularity of Bollywood movies amongst the Indian diaspora. demographic characteristics. Chopra (2007) noted that members of a certain Bollywood film club from South Korea wore Sharukh Khan (a popular Bollywood actor) t-shirts and goggles while watching a Hindi film. which is now being spread by new media technologies even within the Indian diaspora. and examines the role of Bollywood in maintaining their identities. have focused on Indian immigrants. many ardent Indian movie fans of Indian origin copy their favorite actor’s mannerisms. Lakshmi N. Most studies. In fact. it is surprising to see that little research work is done in the area of Bollywood movies and cultural identity formation among second-generation Indian Americans. 2007. 2005. language. Dawson. 1998). Bollywood films strongly influence dress codes. the current study investigates the identity construction process of second-generation Indian American students. 1999). to fill the gap in the diaporic identity literature. living conditions and socio economic ties between home and Diaspora (Rao. 2009 Though some of the following will be discussed in greater detail in the next chapter. 2005. I seek to demonstrate how Hindi film viewing practices in second-generation Indian Americans intersect to create a 9 . Juluri. In other words. Tirumala.Texas Tech University. Aug. which relates to a concept called fan culture (Srinivas. it is important to touch base with concepts such as fan culture and Indianness. dress styles. and rituals for both the educated person and a layman alike. This suggests the emergence of a particular Bollywood culture in India. Punathambekar.
Tirumala.Texas Tech University. As Nehru (1946) stated. customs and traditions. described or measured. On Being “Indian” According to Bhat (2006). the importance of 10 . religions. a notion of independent nation that brought the people together despite their diversity in many aspects.243).” Cohn (1972) defined Indianness or being Indian as something that is unique. castes and sub-castes. From the definitions and observations it can be said that Indianness is one notion that is considered to be inherent and inseparable from all Indians. However. it is important to understand the concepts like “Indianness” and cultural identity. Jawaharlal Nehru (1946) defined this quality as “unity in diversity. The Discovery of India. sects and sub-sects. 2009 notion of “Indianness. Some key elements of Indianness are language and regions.” Before examining literature on cultural identity construction. traditions and value system (Bhat. Aug. a quality that makes quintessentially India. 2006). In his book. even the universal religious faiths like Christianity and Islam will have a distinct Indian touch to it that makes them Indian Christians and Indian Muslims. Indianness is nothing but a “psycho-social product of colonialism as much as post colonialism” (p. Lakshmi N. something that can be distinctly experienced. Taking cues from Cohn’s (1972) definition many scholars define Indianness in terms of religious tolerance and simple acceptance of unity in diversity while others define the notion focusing on the otherworldly aspects of this culture like family togetherness.
The Indian Diaspora Recent population estimates suggested that the Indian diaspora has reached 25 million. it fits to discuss the Indian diaspora in the United States. Tirumala. 2009 Hinduism cannot be ignored or overlooked from the concept of Indianness as it plays a crucial role in unifying various castes and tribes (Singh. language. spreading across the globe in more than 130 countries (Bhuyan. Because this study was limited to the United States. and Illinois (How a burgeoning. As Singh (2003) points out that these very elements like religion. apart from language and region. ATA (American Telugu Association).Texas Tech University. lawyers or businessman (Bhat. Many regional associations like TANA (Telugu Association of North America). Gujarat Samaj. Lakshmi N.S.S. Bhat. New York. are white-collar professionals such as engineers. based Indians now numbering about three million according to the United States Census calculations and are most heavily concentrated in the states of California. The majority of Indians who migrated to U. 2006). and region define the identity of Indian diasporic communities. along with other Indian Associations like Global Organization of People 11 . 2006). The reason behind such importance given to Hinduism is that many scholars believe Hinduism as an ethnic religion that has strong roots in India. language and caste factors play a dominant role in the lives of U. Indians started migrating to United States only after the Immigration and Nationality Act was revoked in 1965. New Jersey. 2006). 2003. Texas. Religion. Aug. This suggests that religion is a significant aspect of the notion “Indianness”. doctors. 2006).
Cultural Identity Cultural identity can simply be defined as an individual’s way of identifying himself/herself with the culture. the Internet. mobile phones and DVDs have helped this cause of connecting with the home culture. Tirumala. while the notion of “Indianness” becomes significant in India only when it is challenged. etc. electronic media in particular. Thus. 2008. Lakshmi N. it is a part of the Indian diaspora that comes out every time they involve and interact with other ethnic groups. 2006) also noted that there is a continuous effort among members of the Indian diaspora to maintain cultural identity through their activities that are distinctly Indian. Bhat. frequently enables the notion of “Indianness” through its various programs.Texas Tech University. New communications technologies like satellite television. 2009 for Indian Origin (GOPIO) have emerged to maintain a separate identity for Indians by facilitating an opportunity to meet with people from same regions. whether it is a home culture or host culture. as mentioned in this thesis. Jung and Lee (2004) defined cultural identity as a “socially and historically constructed outcome of locating the self in relation to interactions with others as well as to socially and culturally conditioned communicative structures within a given society” (p. the cultural 12 . it is worth exploring the cultural identity construction process among second-generation Indian Americans and the role of Bollywood in maintaining these identities. argued that mass media. Rao (2008). Thus.147). Research scholars (Rao. As Bhat (2006) and Singh (2003) noted. Aug. films.
especially the second-generation Indian Americans. Identifying with a particular culture makes people feel they belong and gives them a sense of security. they will report conflicting ideas. Cultural identity is also an important contributor to a people’s wellbeing.” Secondgeneration Indian Americans naturally fall under this scenario by constantly experiencing the dynamics of both the Indian as well as American cultures. an individual’s identity is maintained through social interactions with others as well as with media. This study is primarily based on the second-generation Indian American undergraduate students from Texas Tech University and how they construct their cultural identity. experience multiple cultures and are trapped by the dynamics of these cultures. Lakshmi N. Lee (2006) observed that when individuals with minority status. Hence.Texas Tech University. Most importantly. Tirumala. Moorti (2003) argued that these social interactions play a significant role in constructing and maintaining one’s identity and this holds true particularly with diasporic communities. beliefs. for example Indian Americans. 2009 identity of Indian Americans. culture and Indian culture.S. To accomplish this. These factors influence in shaping the overall cultural identity among minority individuals and make them choose to identify themselves with certain culture they often come into contact with cultural “in-groups” and “out-groups. This thesis investigated the role of Bollywood movies in second-generation Indian Americans via in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. it makes an interesting study to explore the role of Bollywood movies and factors influencing the identity construction among second-generation Indian Americans. is continually negotiated between the U. and attitudes toward a particular cultural group. the 13 . Aug. In fact.
identity. 14 .Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. 2009 study examined the role of Bollywood movies using three moments (consumption. Tirumala. and representation) of circuit of culture. Aug.
was produced by the Imperial film company and directed by Irani in 1931. 2009 Chapter II Literature Review A Brief History of Bollywood Industry The birth of Indian cinema has coincided with the freedom struggle against British colonialism. The first exposure to motion pictures for India was in the year 1896. Raja Harishchandra (1913). Due to the phenomenal expansion of Hollywood industry and lack of better Indian filmmakers. 2007). 2006). the Indian film industry was able to free itself from foreign influence and produce movies that were related to Indian social and culture system (Nayar.Texas Tech University. However. which signified the birth of the Indian film industry. It brought revolutionary changes in the whole set up of India’s film industry (Bose. Alam Ara. 1996). The 1930s witnessed the arrival of many new production companies and filmmakers from all over the country. with the arrival of talkies in the early 1930s. 2006). Since that time cinema has been successfully engaged in defining a cultural identity that was Indian both in its shape and form (Rao. However. when Lumiere Brothers’ Cinematographe unveiled six soundless short films in Bombay (Bose. Dada Saheb Phalke was responsible for the production of country’s first silent feature film. Indian cinema gradually took the shape of a regular industry during the late 1920s. The first Indian talkie. which led to an increase in number of films being 15 . Aug. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. almost 85 percent of movies shown in India were American.
Texas Tech University. had fallen within the purview of the law during the late 1930s. Indian film producers and directors were able to focus on scripts and dialogues that pertained to the Indian society and culture. The Indian audiences accepted the innovative idea with great enthusiasm. Indian cinema finally emerged as an undisputed vehicle for national unity focusing heavily on reality and aesthetics (Kalkar. Lakshmi N. which helped transform Indian movies into a commodity in later years. Tirumala. however. 58). However. The late 1930s and early 1940s were recognized as the decade of social protests in the history of Indian cinema. which gave a little chance to the filmmakers to fight against the British colonialism. Three major studios during this period made some serious but entertaining films for all social classes of the Indian audience. This was also the period the country was united by Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience and non-violence movement against the British demanding for Indian independence. Tamil. Films helped the cause by uniting Indians and getting them to think and act as citizens of a sovereign nation. Rao (2007) noted that it was the period when “a tension between modernity and tradition. with the British withdrawal from India in 1947. 1980). an 16 . and several other dialects around the time. have evolved in the cinematic imagination” (p. Regional issues and a desire to see and hear one’s own language had spurred new regional film industries producing Bengali. Telugu. 2009 made. With the advent of sound. westernization and indigeneity. The Indian film industry. This is about the time when song and dance sequences were introduced in Indian films that gave the films unique and aesthetic look. From these tensions has emerged a unique ideology called Indian identity. Aug. Kannada.
which positioned Indian film on the world film platform. The notable turning point. however. arrived in 1955 with the introduction of Satyajit Ray and his classic Pather Panchali. 2009 identity that is associated with family. 2003). Mehnoob Khan’s Mother India was the first Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar (Chopra. which appealed to the underprivileged sections of society (Iordanova. religion and moral values – important characteristics that movies frequently focused upon. Throughout the late 1950s. directors like Raj Kapoor. Lakshmi N. Bollywood cinema shifted its social concerns towards romantic genres. young man was the primary audience of these films. 2007). The first International film festival (IFF) of India that was held in early 1952 at Bombay has had a significant impact on Indian cinema and inspired filmmakers toward producing art films. Bimal Roy. angry. The male protagonist was portrayed as a cynical and rebellious worker who was often seen fighting rich businesses and corrupt politicians (Rao. political and economic turmoil during 1970s and early 1980s saw Indian cinema return to the concept of social concerns. 2006). Aug. However. introducing new film stars like Shammi Kapoor. 2007). Guru Dutt and Mehboob Khan made films with social messages such as Do Bigha Zamin (1953). The tremendous success of Zanjeer (1973) introduced the figure of “angry young man” to the Indian screen. and Rajesh Khanna. and Mother India (1957) that were focused on underprivileged populations and inequities in Indian society (Jaikumar. Pyaasa (1957). The poor.Texas Tech University. It was a strategy through which Hindi 17 . Among the films. During the late 1960s. Tirumala.
a phenomenon coined by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer (1976). Though the Bollywood industry specializes in understanding what the audience wants. but hides the way it regulate these needs and manipulates the consumers to desire what it produces (Adorno. Indian filmmakers began operating in a new media landscape. 1975). The culture industry claims to serve the needs of the consumers for entertainment. radio and magazines (Adorno.Texas Tech University. 1975). Aug. Lakshmi N. 2009 films have ensured that viewer. more often than not. but also shapes the society through the process of standardization and commodification through films. The significant changes that were brought in by the liberalization of the Indian economy throughout the 1990s enabled the already growing internationalization of the production and distribution of Hindi films (Rajadhyaksha. Rajadhyaksha (2003) termed this shift as “Bollywoodization of the Indian cinema. it succumbs to the elite whims. both men and women. popular culture not only mirrors society. With the advent of cable and satellite television. According to this theory. identified with the working and lower middle class populations. Tirumala. Based on this culture theory it can be assumed that the Bollywood film industry often manipulates the viewer to desire what it produces rather making films that viewers would be interested to watch. As discussed 18 . where easy access to Bollywood and Hollywood films were made available to viewers at home. 2003).” and stated that Bollywood became a part of the culture industry. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the revival of the musical love stories in Hindi cinema. interests and influences the audiences to desire what it produces.
it is not surprising to see that the audience desires to imitate dress codes. “Bollywood is not the Indian film industry or not the film industry alone. Aug.Texas Tech University. Moviegoers in India take pride in associating themselves with an actor or actress and diligently follow their mannerisms (Srinivas. hair styles. Kaho Na Pyar Hai (2000). Bollywood as a cultural industry influences dress codes. 2002). etc. It might be best seen as a more diffuse cultural conglomeration involving a range of distribution and consumption activities from websites to music cassettes. Tirumala. Accordingly. Dil Chahta Hi (2003) (see Appendix A for some of the plot summaries) achieved success both in the domestic and overseas market alike. Baym and Punathambekar (2007) observed that “fandom” is a significant element of Indian film culture. Television and music rights generated more revenues than the entire movie production cost. 2009 earlier. Black (2004). Lakshmi N. 2003). some of the most popular films such as Don (2006) Rang De Basanti (2005). from cable to radio. In the past decade. hairstyles and even mannerisms. overseas distribution rights for a big budget movie have doubled in price than that in the Indian market (Jaikumar. 19 . This trend based in synergies across different media platforms has encouraged Bollywood film producers to focus on urban and niche audiences who have ample disposable income and are active consumers. Given the immense popularity of Indian film stars and the large number of fan communities that have emerged over the years. His argument about Bollywood industry was in line with the cultural industry concept of commodification. Dhoom (2004).. from New Delhi to New York” (p.27). Rajadhyaksha (2003) further argued. Swades (2004). that they see in Indian movies. Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham (2001).
2002). These techniques demonstrated a trend toward reaching a global audience as opposed to the industry’s earlier objective of resisting western influence. all these films featured westernized themes. 2009 Interestingly. This is slowly changing as the popularity and importance of Bollywood cinema amongst the large South Asian diaspora is now being recognized as an important cultural object for scholars of socio-cultural studies. Athique (2005) noted that it is surprising to see that the Bombay cinema has not generated much interest among scholars of cultural studies. During this period. particularly in U. both directed by Mira Nair.K. The period between 2001 and 2008 is very significant with the exposure of South Asian popular culture reaching an all time high.S. The Name Sake (2006). and U. Lakshmi N. Bollywood & Diaspora Following is a brief description of Bollywood’s presence in a few important regions of the world: 20 . foreign locations. Movies such as Monsoon Wedding (2001). while localizing and Indianizing them can best be labeled as “glocalization” (Ganti. Tirumala. and considerable use of English language in the dialogues. Bombay Dreams.Texas Tech University. Aug. opened to sold-out crowds in London. The new age film producers argue that films with western themes and usage of “Hinglish” (a blend of Hindi and English language) will not attract a large of number of the diasporic audience. and Danny Boyel’s Slum Dog Millionaire (2008) achieved tremendous success in the Indian diaspora. the big budget musical drama. These innovative strategies adopted by filmmakers by taking global formats and visual styles.
Aug. the U. 2005). Pakistan and Bangladesh arguably enjoy an upper hand in the consumption of Bollywood movies. 2006). Bollywood movies are also popular in other South Asian countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka due to their proximity with the Indian subcontinent. Indian movies offer an alternative style to Hollywood movies and music videos that both Indian diaspora and African youth could follow without the fear of becoming western. Although Pakistan’s government banned Indian films.S. and the U. Although. 2009 Asia Among Asian countries. 21 .Texas Tech University. However. Bollywood movies are watched on cable and DVDs.).d. Israel and Arab countries have been witnessing a gradual increase in popularity for Bollywood films since 2001 (Mishra. According to Larkin (1997).. Iordanova (2006) noted that Bollywood movies are dubbed to Russian and shown in prominent theatres. Bollywood is not so popular in this part of the world compared to Oceania. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. it has made a slow but steady progress over the years (Irodanova. Africa and Russia Bollywood is now being recognized and achieving box office success in some parts of Africa such as Nigeria. because most of the people from these countries speak/understand Hindi (Kaur and Sinha. a few Bollywood films like Tajmahal (2005) were legally released in Pakistan. n. Bollywood films are particularly popular in the former Soviet Union. Morocco and South Africa because of its increasing Indian diaspora.K. for the most part. Also Afghanistan.
and Bride and Prejudice (2005) have been filmed entirely in United Kingdom. 22 . Aug.Texas Tech University. Bend it Like Beckham (2002). Australia has been providing a backdrop for a number of Bollywood films. especially for song and dance sequences. This trend was followed by most recent movies like Heyy Babyy and Chak de India (2007). Many films such as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). Dawson observed that the Bollywood is also popular in Western Europe where India’s mega film industry has carved an identity for itself. Indian filmmakers have been attracted to the country’s diverse locations and rich landscapes to film significant number of song and dance sequences (Shah. Bollywood films do exceptionally well in United Kingdom (Sheth. United Kingdom and Europe As per industry sources. Australia is one of the few countries where there is a large Indian diaspora. Tirumala. 2005). 2005). 2006). thanks to its ever-increasing Indian population (Kaur and Sinha. Since 1997. Bollywood films have been gradually improving its box office revenues in the UK and it is fitting to say that the UK plays a significant role in Bollywood’s global share (Dawson. For example. With the growing Indian diaspora. Lakshmi N. the Yash Raj film Salaam Namaste (2005) was one of the first Indian films to be shot entirely in Australia. 2006). 2005). Two television channels—RTL II (German) and Rai Uno (Italian)—have recently started to broadcast Indian movies every week (Sheth. 2009 Oceania Bollywood ranks second only to Hollywood in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
S. A few recent prominent films like Kaante (2002).Texas Tech University. Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). the largest cable television provider in the United States (Sikka. Bollywood started entering into American living rooms through “Bollywood On Demand” provided by Comcast Corporation. 2007). make an average of $100 million a year through theatre screenings. 2007). and New York (Overdorf. Many big-budget Bollywood films are debuting in the top 20 box office charts in cities where the Indian diaspora is large. and Chocolate (2005) were shot in United States. With the Indian movie industry gaining popularity in the West. Indian filmmakers have set their sights on the United States when it comes to locations for filming significant scenes and song and dance sequences. one of the India’s largest production houses and distributors. Indian films do more business in the United States than films from any other country. video sales and the sale of audio tracks from the movies (Overdorf. Aug. reported that Bollywood films in the U.. many Bollywood filmmakers have been shooting significant number of scenes in America. Some of the more recent music-oriented films have 23 . Also. During the past 10 years. Washington D. 2009 Bollywood in United States Bollywood has been experiencing tremendous growth in revenues in North American markets and is most popular among the South Asian communities in cities such as Chicago. Yash Raj Films. video rental retailers such as Netflix are offering more Bollywood movies through their online stores. With ever growing numbers of South Asians immigrating to the United States. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. As mentioned in the previous chapter.C. 2005).
the following chapter examines the cultural identity in terms of cultural studies.Texas Tech University. The growth of the Bollywood film industry in foreign markets. and the creation of overseas markets through the exportation of theatrical and home video consumption. 24 . Bombay Dreams. Specifically. especially in the United States. Lakshmi N. There is no question that the Indian movie industry has experienced exceptional growth in the number of films produced. The next chapter examined the theoretical frameworks that could be used to analyze the relationship between Bollywood and the development of cultural identity among the secondgeneration Indian Americans. 2009 influenced the first Bollywood musical. raise of multiplexes. Tirumala. the generation of revenues through movie ticket sales. Aug. has provided an opportunity to explore issues related to the creation and maintenance of cultural identity. to hit Broadway during 20042005 season.
Johnson (1987) explained cultural studies with three main characteristics: culture is associated with social relations. 2009 Chapter III Theoretical Framework Cultural Studies Cultural studies combine sociology. which expresses certain meanings and values not only in art and learning but also in institutions and ordinary behavior (p. custom. and it display social disparity. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. 50). Culture represents certain meanings and values of a society. Additionally. human thought and experience are variously recorded. belief systems. and cultural anthropology to explore cultural phenomena in industrial societies. …Second …is the social definition of culture. in their material context” (p. Taylor (1874) defined culture as “it is that complex whole which includes knowledge. 25 . law. art. 41). and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (p. located. the ideal in which culture is the body of intellectual and imaginative work. film/video studies. in today’s global world. mass media play a significant role in representing and even projecting a society’s culture. Cultural studies are the way to analyze and understand the systems and values of our daily lives. and in situ. morals. it involves power structures.Texas Tech University. According to Stuart Hall (1997). 41). Williams (1961) conceptualized the culture “as a whole way of life” (p. first. Aug. He maintained that the way to understand culture as “a whole. 67). he positioned the culture in two general categories: There is. …Culture is a description of a particular way of life.
1997). a cultural studies framework that can be used to explore and examine the process of cultural identification. consumption. Bollywood movies should provide links to the Indian culture.Texas Tech University. However. 2009 Hall (1997) observed that the images and the values of a society would be provided by mass media. The Circuit of Culture Circuit of culture is a model that offers a holistic view of the process of communication. especially electronic media. Aug. identity. No matter what the audience perceives about the content of mass media. Moreover. Accordingly. Lakshmi N.. social ideology is always present in culture. For the Indian diaspora in the United States. cultural studies focus on how individuals understand their culture through mass media. and regulation (du Gay et al. suggested that combining these five elements completes a circuit and to 26 . Tirumala. Hall (1997) suggested that the audience could learn other cultural values through media and so they might recognize that they live in different cultures. It suggests that to study a cultural text or artifact. Hall (1996) explained that the media play an important role in the formation of the things that they reflect. Accordingly. audience could get other cultural perspectives through mass media so that they might realize that the culture they are living in differs from other cultures. One explanation for this process is through the Circuit of Culture. production. Hall (1982) described the role of media in the society as functional. it does not create new culture or a social phenomenon but it repackages and reforms cultural practices. consciously or unconsciously. one needs to look at its representation. In short. du Gay et al.
27 .Texas Tech University.representation. production. So. visuals and language play a predominant role in the process of representation. one must take this circuit into consideration if it is to be studied adequately (du Gay et al.play a significant role in how we send and receive messages. and regulation -. this process helps us to understand the complexity of communication. Aug. Tirumala. At the moment of identity. 2009 examine or analyze how cultural processes are accomplished in our daily lives. On the final moment of Regulation. the circuit examines how cultural messages affect consumers in their daily lives. Likewise. consumption. Lakshmi N. the meaning of any cultural text or artifact can be examined and understood from these five interdependent elements of the circuit of culture. the communication process is much more than sending a message from point A to B. identity. Production is pursued on the basis of targeted audience and at this stage we are concerned with understanding how various meanings are encoded in messages. like Hall (2005) suggested. The circuit of culture consists of five major moments: representation is the first stage of the circuit as it is a process by which cultural meaning is generated and given a shape.. As indicated above. The moments of the circuit -. As Hall (1997) suggested cultural meaning is socially constructed through systems of symbolic representations. the circuit examines how people find similarities with themselves and messages encoded during the production. Curtin and Gaither (2005) argued that the circuit of culture is a useful framework for better understanding the values and meanings of any cultural product. Consumption deals with how these messages are decoded and the meaning that audiences make of them. 1997).
Globalization and new media technologies like the Internet and satellite television help the diaspora communities to stay connected with their ethnic roots as often as possible and restore the old traditions and value system (Appadurai. the current study attempted to examine whether consumption of Bollywood movies helps second-generation Indian Americans understand and maintain their cultural identity among. Lakshmi N. Based on this statement. However. and cultural identity (as referred in Jung and Lee. according to Johnson (2000). The concept of ethnic identity The cultural identity of immigrated minority groups has been an issue in the fields of mass communications and social sciences (see Gillespie. Johnson. ethnic minorities are successfully finding a balance between their home and host cultures and trying not to steer away from the ancestral culture and traditions. 2000. We may infer that diaspora identities have always been unstable because of their constant exposure to home and host culture influences. 2000). Tirumala. The cultural process engaged by Indian American adults was examined on the basis of circuit of culture framework. 2009 du Gay et al. (1997) observed that people consume products to project certain cultural identities that they want others to recognize they possess. racial and cultural 28 . 2004). 1996). Jung and Lee (2004) observed that the definitions provided by past researchers with respect to ethnic.Texas Tech University. identity and consumption. ethnic. Scholars have defined ethnic identity in different ways and interestingly there seems to be no distinction in identity literature when it comes to defining racial. mainly focusing on the elements of representation. Aug.
Texas Tech University. ethnic festivals. It is safe to assume that ethnic groups express their identity by choosing ethnic symbols such as ethnic clothes. Language and religious customs play a crucial role in bringing together people who share similar cultural traits and form a sub-cultural group. ethnic language. 2009 identities are similar. Sreberny (2000) noted “approaches to ethnicity usually focus on the common bonds of language. Hall (1997) clearly emphasized that the cultural elements like family and peer groups play a significant role in the formation of individual’s identity. Kelly (1996) defined ethnic identity as “a group’s or individual’s cultural construction of their ethnic past which is grounded in an historical context but which also responds to changes in the lives of both groups and individuals” (p. today.82). Interacting with family and friends on a daily basis appeared to help identify and maintain the home culture. it only make things complicated and difficult to draw out a universal definition. It is not at all surprising considering the number of ethnicities and cultures in U. Aug. 29 . myth and habit which bind members of an ethnic community together as a sub-cultural grouping within the territorial confines of a nation-state” (p. However. Lakshmi N. and most importantly through consumption of ethnic food and media. This is an important notion because the current study will also attempt to explore the role played by family and friends in understanding the Indian culture and identity. 179). Tirumala. it is important to note that ethnic groups combine these with host culture elements to construct a third identity such as Indian American.S.
consumption of ethnic news and entertainment through satellite channels and DVDs could serve to maintain the culture and traditions of ethnic minorities. Lakshmi N. to closely identify 30 . Tajfel and Turner (1986) observed that the act of categorizing oneself as a particular group member would lead to a display of in-group favoritism. Tirumala.Texas Tech University. Indian American students in this case. 2009 Furthermore. cultural identity is defined as a level of ethnic identification. Apart from interpersonal interactions with family and peer group the cultural identity of ethnic groups can be constructed and maintained through their constant interactions with media technologies like the Internet. satellite television and DVD. Thus. For example. Aug. communicating with in-group and out-group members play an influential role in identifying with an individual’s ethnic culture (Durham. Cultural identity formation is a complicated process. Examining the role of intergroup behavior. Chances are that new media technologies create ample opportunities for minority communities to find a new sense of connection and maintain their identities. 2004). While in-group members often help individual maintain the culture. For the purpose of this research. outgroup members constantly remind him or her of in-group identity. cultural identity is defined. He suggested that there is a difference between interacting with in-group members and outgroup members. Hall (1997) suggested that the mass media acts as a linkage between dispersed public and the homeland of cultural life that helps to create a sense of identity among the media consumers. They also argued that individuals positively differentiate their in-group from out-group on specific identity and value dimensions. produced and maintained through various social interactions inside and outside ethnic communities. which allows ethnic group members.
Tirumala. associated with strict parenting style. Cultural Identity of Asian Americans As there is an absence of literature about second-generation Indian Americans and their cultural identity process. 2009 themselves with their cultural and traditional origins. the majority of the literature was drawn from either Asian American or Asian Britain identity construction studies. age hierarchy. and faith in religion. The current research highlights the role of Bollywood movies. Prior studies found that the cultural identity of Asian Americans to be largely influenced by family and social relationships (see Jung and Lee. In a study of ethnic identity formation process among second-generation KoreanAmericans. In other words. Durham. She discovered that the majority of the participants from the study identified 31 . 2004). which facilitate the cultural contacts by erasing geographical boundaries and thereby influencing ethnic group’s identity construction and maintenance. was a strong force behind the identity negotiation process. Although the Asian American group does consists of Indian Americans.Texas Tech University. Jo (2000) found that Korean culture. none of the past studies focused particularly on Indian Americans. 2004. Lakshmi N. it reflects the collectivistic approach of Asian culture to the individualistic orientation of Western culture. As discussed in the previous chapter it is important to pay attention to Bollywood movies not only for their dynamic reach to the diaspora communities but also for their popularity among the group. Aug. This reflects the importance of family togetherness to Asian culture in comparison to the individualistic approach of Western cultures.
However. This suggested that the level of cultural identity diminishes from generation to generation in the Indian diaspora. a majority of the girls admitted that their level of Indianness differs from that of their parents. Many teenagers in the study reported that mixing with Asian friends. The above studies reemphasize the fact that family and religion play a dominant role in constructing and maintaining the cultural identification. The author argued that since the participants were brought up in a mixed culture it is understandable to see a difference in their Indianness from that of their parents. and watching Asian films helped them stay connected to the home culture. and Cooper (1999) posited that the cultural identity of Asian teenage girls in Britain depended on their social activities and interactions. Jung and Lee (2004). which suggested that the second-generation Korean Americans were strongly connected to the Korean culture. attending language classes. found that external forces such as the relationship with parents. Diamond. and behaviors of many Asian societies that helped reinforce cultural values. Aug.Texas Tech University. 2009 themselves as Korean or Korean American. Interestingly. Hennick. Tirumala. In his study of South Asian immigrant girls and diaspora identity. attitudes. All the participants in this study reported an affinity 32 . peer group interactions and religious institutions strongly motivate the students ethnic identification process. who surveyed Korean American students. many teenagers in this study opined that Asian films mirrored the true culture and traditional aspects. Durham (2004) found that the participants classified themselves as Indians and identified that family and peer group interactions as the driving force behind their identity formation. Lakshmi N.
the current study seek to understand the role of family. peer group interaction and entertainment industry also play a crucial role in defining one’s ethnic identity. Further support is provided by Lee (2004) who found that satellite television programs played an important role reinforcing the connection with Korean culture and society while looking at Korean immigrants and the role of satellite television.Texas Tech University. Jung and Lee (2004) found that young Korean Americans most often rely on the distance shrinking communication technologies such as mobile phones. Thompson’s (2002) study of media use and diaspora identity among immigrants and their children in the U. and religious institutions in constructing and maintaining the identity. 2009 towards their people of similar ethnic background. Internet. Tirumala. This suggested that apart from family and religious institutions. Aug.K found that joint viewing of ethnic television and films are extremely important in the construction of cultural 33 . Mass media has been used as a useful communication tool for cultural identity construction and maintenance among first generation immigrants and their children. The study also revealed that satellite television acted as a good education tool for children to learn Korean language and culture. In their aforementioned ethnographic study on Korean American students. and satellite television to create new social realities and cultural identities within the Korean diaspora community context. Drawing the basis from the above research works. This supports Hall’s (1997) observation that mass media and communication technologies play a crucial role in enhancing the process of identity formation. it was important to look at the past research studies that investigated the role of media. Lakshmi N. peer group interactions. Because the current study examined the role of Bollywood movies.
whereas second-generation children resisted the Indian traditions and customs that were shown in films. Melkote and Liu (2000) found that Chinese ethnic Internet sites like tudou. The Internet also began to play a significant role in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity of people living in ethnic diasporas. Interestingly. whereas children felt little connection to the films. The majority of the parents used Indian films to cultivate certain traditional cultural values. and belief system in their children apart from teaching the Indian language. Lakshmi N. Gillespie observed that the parents considered Indian films to be useful and informative agents for constructing cultural identity of their children. While looking specifically at Bollywood movies and identity construction. electronic media played an important role in constructing and reinforcing the identity. Tirumala. Gillespie (1989) examined the role of the video recorder in the construction of ethnic identity among Indians in England. This is an ample indication of Internets role in shaping and reinforcing cultural identity. attitudes. The study suggested that the Chinese ethnic Internet sites provided a way for Chinese to stay connected with their culture and preserve the traditional values. Aug. Findings from this study suggested that besides family and peer group interactions.Texas Tech University.com helped by integrating all the Chinese students and scholars in the United Sates. Rao (2007) researched Bollywood movies and non-elite audiences in India and found that the majority of the respondents did not identify themselves with the current 34 . 2009 identity. he found that the extensive use of VCR at home to watch Indian films represented a significant means for parents to maintain links with their country and culture of origin.
radio. they have not explored the role of Bollywood movies in the identity construction of second-generation Indian Americans. Participants from the study also stated that the Hindi film music gave them an opportunity to stay close to the ethnic culture. television. 2009 Bollywood narratives. Therefore. Though this study did not focus on immigrant identity. Dawson’s (2005) study of Hindi film music and the negotiation of identity among British-Asian youths resulted in positive responses from the audience. Internet. the movies have ignored the preferences of non-elite audiences. Lakshmi N. based on those findings and a significant gap in the literature the current study developed the following research questions to examine the role of Bollywood films in cultural identity formation and maintenance among second-generation Indian Americans: RQ 1: What factors do second-generation Indian Americans identify as influencing their identity construction? 35 . Although the past research studies looked at the role of all the abovementioned variables in identity construction.Texas Tech University. religious institutions. and films. previous studies showed that the cultural identity construction among second-generation populations depends on various negotiation processes through a combination of inter personal and mediated communicative interactions. Aug. The variables that were derived out of the previous research are: family. it suggested that the Bollywood industry has been producing movies to lure diaspora communities (elite or high income groups as per Indian standards) and increase the financial returns through its exports. He reasoned that while Bollywood industry has been veering towards a Western style catering to the needs of elite Indians and Indian Diasporia community. In summary. and mass media such as print. in-group and out-group interactions. Tirumala.
2009 RQ 2: What role do mass media play in second-generation Indian Americans identity construction? RQ 3: What roles does Bollywood in particular play in the process of identity construction among second-generation Indian Americans? 36 . Tirumala.Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. Aug.
Lakshmi N. Qualitative methods including in-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted to understand the role of social institutions and the mass media in general and focus on the role of Bollywood movies on the Identity process.e. Aug. Tirumala. including field notes. 3). i.Texas Tech University. qualitative research is defined as… “a situated activity that located the observer in the world. It emphasizes the importance of observing variables in the natural setting where they are found. 2009 Chapter IV Methodology This research study explored the research questions grounded in cultural studies by looking at how second-generation Indian Americans construct their identity. interviews. material practices that make the world visible. Qualitative research According to Denzin and Lincoln (2005). and memos to the self” (p. conversations. A qualitative researcher is an integral part of the investigation and so it enables a researcher to examine individual motivations through which detailed information can be obtained 37 . Qualitative research is also defined as an inquiry in which the researcher attempts to understand some larger phenomena by investigating it in a holistic way. “Indianness” and how Bollywood movies are used to maintain the culture and identity. These practices transform the world. It consists of a set of interpretive. photographs. They turn the world into a series of representations. recordings.
It is an in-depth examination of a phenomenon. Lakshmi N. Some advantages of qualitative research are: a. d. and e. and d. It is impossible to replicate. Weinreich. 1996). Texas used Bollywood movies in constructing and maintaining their identity. 38 . This study used two of the qualitative methods to examine and analyze the identity construction process among second-generation Indian Americans. 1997). 2005. c. c. It uses subjective information. Subjectivity raises the issue of reliability and validity of the approach. It examines questions that can otherwise be impossible to answer with quantitative methods. It is not limited to rigidly defined variables. The following is a detailed description of each method that was used in this study. Tirumala. b. Specifically the study examined how Indian American students at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. (Key. a. It explore new areas of research.Texas Tech University. While on the flip side. Weinreich (1996) observed that the qualitative research helps to obtain a realistic view of the world that cannot be captured through the statistical data analysis used in quantitative research. Aug. 2009 (Denizen and Lincoln. Comprehensive data gathering limits scope. Researcher bias is unavoidable. b.
In-depth interviews provide detailed information on a particular program or idea.Texas Tech University. 2006). most of which are unsuitable to address in a group format. b. Every effort should be made to conduct interviews with minimal bias b. generalization cannot be made (Boyce and Neale. this research study adopted Kvale’s (1996) seven stages of the interview process as a guide: 39 . Tirumala. Simply put. This technique is a very time consuming process. Bearing the merits and drawbacks in mind. 2009 In-depth interviews Fontana and Frey (2005) observed that in-depth interviewing is a good way to understand people and their attitudes. there are also a few disadvantages to this technique: a. Interviewer or interview responses may be biased in order to prove an idea or a situation is working. Because of the small sample size. sensitive. it is one of the qualitative research techniques that involve conducting individual interviews with a small number of people to examine their perspectives on an idea or a situation (Boyce and Neale. Some of the merits of indepth interview technique are a. It is prone to bias. Aug. 2006). from conducting interviews to transcribing and analyzing the responses c. or confidential information. People may feel more comfortable to have a conversation and share their views in person compared to filling out a survey However. Lakshmi N. In-depth interviews are ideal for investigating personal.
Verifying – Verify the generalizability. The researcher should keep in mind what he or she wants from the interview. Tirumala. 7. 1996). Reporting – Discuss the findings from the study and explain how those results follow scientific criteria and the ethical aspects (Kvale. The data obtained through these interviews were then transcribed for analysis as soon as possible after each interview was conducted. Transcribing – The data obtained through interviews are transcribed for analyzing the data. reliability.Texas Tech University. Designing – The interview is designed to achieve the objective of the study. 2. 6. between February 15. Interviewing – Interviews are conducted at this stage. were digitally recorded and the respondent’s names were changed to conceal the participants’ identity. 40 . All individuals were initially contacted by sending personal emails to the members of South Asian Students Association (SASA). The main objective for the interview should be clarified before the interview. All interviews lasted about an hour to hour and half. 5. requesting participation in the study. 2008 and March 15. Lakshmi N. Analyzing – Researcher decides the proper method for analysis. a recognized student organization at Texas Tech University. 2008. Thematizing – This is the primary stage of the interview. 4. 3. 2009 1. and validity of the interview analysis. The researcher also attended few general body meetings held by SASA to explain the purpose of the study and sign up interested participants. A total of eight second-generation Indian American students were interviewed in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. Aug.
The focus group method was the second qualitative technique that was used for this study. The focus group technique is extremely useful for exploring attitudes and perceptions and is particularly useful for evaluating complex phenomena such as how audiences process and make sense of certain mediated images. A focus group typically consists of 7-10 people who share certain characteristics that relate to the topic of the discussion (Krueger. knowledge. The rationale behind conducting focus groups in addition to in-depth interviews was to enhance understanding the scenario in a better way and to reveal wide range of common opinions as focus groups have a focused discussion about specific topics or issues. Tirumala. experiences. It provides data more quickly and at lower cost than other methods 41 .Texas Tech University. 1988). A careful and systematic analysis of the discussion provides insight as to how an idea or a situation is perceived by the group. Aug. and attitudes towards a topic. Focus Groups As stated earlier. These transcriptions were read many times to draw patterns and common themes during the analysis stage. Lakshmi N. People naturally interact and are influenced by others in a group environment b. (1995) suggested the following advantages and limitations of using focus groups are: a. Marczac and Seawell. Group interviews are therefore conducted to gather individuals’ opinions. qualitative research enables researchers to examine individual motivations. which produce detailed information that otherwise cannot be produced. 2009 These transcriptions were typed word-for-word into Microsoft Word.
Because of its small sample size. 1995). Lakshmi N. Tirumala. Researchers’ have less control over the group in general b. Analysis: The process of analyzing and reporting must be systematic and descriptive (Krueger. Considering the merits and challenges of focus group. requesting to participate in the study. 1998). Focus groups are comparatively easy to conduct d.Texas Tech University. Results may be biased by the presence of a dominated member (Marczac and Seawell. Interview: Questions should be carefully planned but appear spontaneous during the focus group discussion. A total of eight second-generation Indian American students agreed to participate in a focus group 42 . Results are easy to understand and are accessible to everyone As with any research technique. As in the case with in-depth interviews. results cannot be generalized d. Produces relatively chaotic data making analysis more difficult c. focus group has its own limitations: a. The interview should always include less than ten questions. Moderator may intentionally or unintentionally bias results by providing cues about desired responses e.phase process as a guide to conduct focus groups: 1. Conceptualization: Determine the purpose of the study and whom to study 2. individuals for the focus group session were contacted initially by sending personal emails to the members of South Asian Students Association (SASA). 2009 c. 3. this study employed Krueger’s (1988) three. Aug.
I used a new color to highlight it within the transcriptions. As in the case with in-depth interviews. I coded the data by organizing and categorizing the emerging themes using highlighters. Previous research works that were based on qualitative methods suggests that the descriptions a researcher provides and the categories and themes they develop becomes the core of the analysis. Tirumala. Focus group discussions were transcribed word-for-word into Microsoft Word. All the respondents’ names were changed to conceal the participants’ identity and the data thus obtained was transcribed immediately after the focus group session. For each new theme that emerged. The focus group session lasted for an hour and was video recorded. the transcriptions from focus group were read many times to draw patterns and common themes during the analysis stage. As I read and read re-read the transcriptions from my interviews and focus group session. 2009 session at the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University in the second week of April 2008. Coding Once the transcriptions from both the in-depth interviews and focus groups were typed completed.Texas Tech University. they were read and re-read searching for common themes and patterns. Aug. Lakshmi N. 43 .
3. excluding Bollywood. As suggested earlier. As discussed in the previous chapter. Factors influencing second-generation Indian Americans’ identity construction. each interview and focus group session were transcribed and read multiple times searching for common themes and patterns across the data. Aug. and consumption. the circuit of culture and specifically looked at the moments of representation. to examine the identity construction process of second-generation Indian Americans and the role played by Bollywood movies in creating the notion of “Indianness. Tirumala. And finally. Lakshmi N. 2. 44 . 2009 Chapter V Findings and Discussion The purpose of the study is to throw some light on the role of Bollywood movies in identity formation and maintenance among Indian American young adults. the analysis of this study adopted du Gay et al. (1997) framework. in this identity construction. The role of media. the roles of Bollywood movies in constructing and maintaining this identity. The themes that emerged during the reading are discussed below through the analysis of the interviews and focus group data. These areas were investigated using in-depth interviews and a focus group session with second-generation Indian American students.” The three main areas that were addressed in this research study are: 1.Texas Tech University. identity.
Texas Tech University. most of the respondents claimed that they watch at least one Bollywood movie a week. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. 2009 While exploring general media habits and Bollywood viewing habits in particular. The information included in Table 2 outlined the basic demographics of the participants and their reported Bollywood movie viewing frequency. All the names were changed to conceal the participant’s identity and they were assigned with a pseudonym: Table 2. Only one respondent said that he would typically watch once in two weeks. Aug. Demographics and movie watching frequency Name Puja Rahul Rupa Sandeep Deepa Gowri Hari Sree Sharukh Aishwarya Vijay Bipasha Hritik Amir Salman Kajol Deepika Age 22 23 25 22 23 22 21 24 21 22 22 22 21 22 22 21 22 Gender Female Male Female Male Female Female Male Male Male Female Male Female Male Male Male Female Female 45 Bollywood Movie Watching Frequency Twice a week Once a week Once a week Once a week Twice a week Twice a week Twice a week Thrice a week Once a week Once a week Once in two weeks Once a week Once a week Twice a week Once a week Once a week Twice a week .
My parents pressed the culture upon me and I try to keep the traditions alive and pass it on to the next generation. All the interviewees associated the Indian culture with family togetherness. 22) said the following: 46 . but not American. They expressed that maintaining the culture and traditions is very important and it is something that they definitely want to pass it on to their children. The following section examined what being an “Indian” meant to secondgeneration Indian American Students in Texas Tech University. they still identify with their ethnic roots and keep the “Indianness” alive. This suggested that although all participants were born and brought up in the U. Puja (female. festivities and weddings. Rahul (male. Lakshmi N. religion. Constructing Identity All research participants were self-identified as either Indian American or Indian. 2009 According to the basic demographics included in Table 2. same religious views and attitudes. Asked why it is important to maintain the culture. I have all the cultural similarities. 23) responded as follows: I see myself as Indian/Indian American because though I was born here I was still brought up as if I was from there. Tirumala. Aug. Asked what it means to be an Indian. the average age of the participants was 21 and on an average they watched at least one Bollywood movie a week. All of them visited India at least once and learned about Indian traditions and culture.Texas Tech University.S.
The research shows that ethnic distinction plays a critical role in constructing Indian identity among Indian American students. All focus group respondents also shared similar views on the importance of maintaining the culture. 2009 I think maintaining culture is extremely important to me because that’s who you are and always will be even if you live the rest of your life here in America. 22). Aug. Talking about the marriage system. For example. and these comments clearly reveal that most of the secondgeneration Indian American participants try to stay connected with their home culture and traditional values. Tirumala.” This response suggested that though Rupa was born and brought up in 47 . Apart from religion and family togetherness. She observed “interacting with out-group members constantly reminds me of being an Indian. since nobody really recognizes me as an American. 25) remembered discovering her identity as Indian through her interactions with other ethnic group members.Texas Tech University. which suggested that these participants not only maintain the cultural identity but also want to pass it on to future generations. Gowri (female. Lakshmi N. another interview participant Rupa (female. a majority of the focus group respondents expressed their desire to marry an Indian guy or a girl. I know that I want my children to be Indian and want them to know values and beliefs that I have been raised with. a focus group respondent said the following: I obviously want to marry a Indian because I feel it’s important to marry an Indian because there are so many things that you do not understand if you are married to someone who is not an Indian.
22). despite their being born in America and fluent in English. Aug. which constantly reminds me of my ethnic background. who are frequently and pejoratively identified as ABCD’s (American Born Confused Desi) by Indian media 48 . Interactions with both “in-group” and “out-group” members play a significant role in inter-cultural identity negotiation process and most importantly remind secondgeneration Indian Americans of their ethnic roots and cultural background. Sandeep (male.” Having born and brought up in America. Accordingly. most of the Indian American students. Most of the interview participants identified student associations as playing a dominant role in maintaining one’s cultural identity because they facilitate a constant interaction with peer group members. On the other hand. an interesting discussion emerged from the focus group session that focused on the fact that few Indian American students. While there is a possibility that the race of these respondents may also be a factor for not being accepted as Americans. a member of South Asian Students Association (SASA) at Tech said the following: “Me and some of my SASA friends always hang out together and have fun like celebrating holi (festival of colors) or eat Indian food.Texas Tech University. Sandeep actively participates in SASA and try to create awareness about the Indian culture on campus. 2009 America and speaks English like any other American she will never be accepted as an American because of her ethnic background. do not veer away from Indian culture due to their interactions with peer group members and taking part in Indian cultural events. as the researcher did not explore in this area. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. there is no evidence to support this assumption.
responded as follows: Some just ignore the whole fact that they are Indian. 2009 and peer groups. While none of the respondents of both interviews and focus groups identified themselves as ABCDs. Aug. This suggested that the social and cultural interactions play a key role in defining and maintaining the cultural identity amongst second-generation Indian American students. 23) a focus group participant. Tirumala. It’s because their parents do not talk about the importance of culture. they will talk about how they are American more than an Indian because they do not learn anything about cultural background or traditions. they observed that even the so called “ABCDs” come around and interact with them whenever they feel like talking about their families and parents because of the cultural differences they experience when talking with their American peers. When asked for the reason. A focus group respondent Hritik (male.Texas Tech University. Deepa (female. 49 . 21) observed the following: So they often hangout with Americans and do stuff together but they always come back to us when they want to share things about their families because they do not identify this aspect of sharing with their American friends. assimilate toward American culture and do not like to identify themselves with Indian roots. so as soon as they leave from home they don’t get involved in any Indian events. Lakshmi N. or interact with us and they lose everything and start acting as Americans.
Tirumala. 22) said the following: 50 . Parents teaching Indian culture at home and/or asking their children to speak in their native language are the most commonly identified activities that influence the identity formation of Indian American students. three themes including family. and media.” it is important to learn how it is constructed and maintained by secondgeneration Indian Americans. Family Interviews from this study indicated that the family plays a significant role in the cultural identity formation among second-generation Indian Americans. Each of these factors is discussed at length in the following sub sections. institutions. During the examination of the first research question. A majority of the interviewees pointed out that their parents speak to them in their native language and observed that it was necessary for their own children to be able to understand and converse in their native tongue. Gowri (female. institutions.Texas Tech University. and friends emerged out of the interviews and focus group sessions. Aug. families play a pivotal role in constructing and maintaining the ethnic roots and identities because they keep the traditions and rituals alive by continuing to follow them and also having their children to take part in these rituals and other celebrations. friends. 2009 Now that we have looked at participant’s observations on the notion of “Indianness. The four major factors are family. Following is the synthesis of these three themes. Lakshmi N. The in-depth interviews and focus group suggests that identity construction process among second-generation Indian Americans is based on four major factors. As Kelly (1996) and Jung and Lee (2004) pointed out.
it can be assumed that staying away from ethnic language makes second-generation Indian Americans fallout from learning about the culture and there by loose their identity. 2009 I thank my family for teaching me how to speak in Hindi when I was young. 23) said the following: Being around my family makes me think of the Indian culture and traditions. We usually eat Indian food and do aarti (light a candle) and pray for a while. So. Deepa (female. It suggested that family members do things in certain way that goes along with culture and tradition. Likewise Rahul (male. The majority of the focus group participants also maintained that just being around family members reminds them of Indian culture and traditions. Aug. 51 . Whenever they watch Indian programs like television soap operas or movies. Tirumala. he would ask his parents about the meaning of phrases he could not understand. Also cultural aspects like respect for elders. I now take pride in saying that I can speak Hindi very fluently and some of the Indian Americans who cannot do so look up to me. praying once a day and eating Indian food are few things that second-generation Indian Americans learned from their families. Lakshmi N. 23) speaks to his mom and dad in Gujarathi at home.Texas Tech University. And whenever I go home me and my family goes to an Indian restaurant and then may be watch Indian movies. she’s always like why don’t you tell me in Hindi/Gujarathi. Whenever I ask my mom something. you know she does not want me to lose the language.
institutions also played a major role in constructing and maintaining the identity among these students. 2009 All participants from both the interviews and focus groups maintained that family was the most influential factor in constructing and maintaining identity. 52 . As seen earlier in this chapter. I mean I was always around the culture because my parents took me to all the events and made me involve in all those things. Aug.Texas Tech University. they rented Bollywood movies to watch with us. an interview participant said the following: My parents took me to temple. Vijay (male. most of the participants from this study stated that family has the biggest influence on their identity construction and keep them motivated to participate in the culture and traditions. Tirumala. To sum up. played Indian music all the time in cars when we were driving somewhere and they took us to festivals. Thus family clearly plays a predominant role in constructing the identity in second-generation Indian American students. The following are the ideas and views on the role of institution in maintaining the cultural identity. Parents play a dominant role in the identity construction of secondgeneration Indian Americans because they are the ones who teach and instill the idea of culture and value system through various activities. Lakshmi N. It is observed that participants give priority to their parents and seek their acceptance before taking any important decisions. 22).
2009 Institutions The interview participants from this study indicated that in addition to the family and language. going to religious events and participating in traditional functions give Indian Americans a chance to socialize with people from the same cultural background and stay connected with their ethnic roots.Texas Tech University. 24). The majority of the interview participants also observed that they pray every day and wear ethnic clothes to traditional events. which teach you about moral values and traditions. we did this thing called puja once every week and it would have Bhagavadgeetha and Ramayana (religious scriptures) classes and we all kids sit together and learn about those stories. Similarly. Aug. This is a very interesting scenario because many people living in India do not seem to give importance to ethnic wear while second53 . Tirumala. religious institutions like temples and religious classes play an important role in identity formation of the second-generation Indian Americans. Most of the respondents from interviews and the focus group claimed that they participate in all the traditional celebrations and attend Hindu temple on a regular basis. said the following: When I was growing up. Jung and Lee (2004) emphasized that the ethnic church played a crucial role in constructing a social network among Korean Americans. who was the vice president of South Asian Students Association. I think these activities contribute a lot in preserving our culture and identity. Sree (male. Lakshmi N. We also play holi and diwali every year and have a lot of social events to create awareness about Indian culture and traditions in the University.
it was only in the later stage that they realized the value of religion and importance of maintaining it. Kajol (female. Most participants from interviews stated that their parents always wanted them to focus on religion and know everything about it by visiting temple and religious classes. 21) said the following: We are strong in maintaining the religious traditions. participants from the focus group observed that religious classes played an important role in learning about values and customs. And if I go to traditional events like garbha or something I feel awkward if I don’t wear Indian clothes. But my Indian cousins say they do not wear traditional clothes often. They maintained that though they never took it seriously and understood the importance behind knowing about one’s religion and traditions initially. 24) said the following: 54 . Sree (male. Lakshmi N. I think it is because we are so far away from India we try to preserve and keep the culture alive by doing certain things. Tirumala. We celebrate all Indian festivals and go to temple regularly. This factor enables them to keep in tune with their religion and stay connected with their culture and identity. Likewise. This suggested that a participant’s religious faith is deeply rooted by going to a temple and learning it from a religious guru as well as involving in religious events.Texas Tech University. Aug. 2009 generation Indian Americans emphasize it as a symbol for their identity. All participants expressed pride in learning and maintaining the religious faith and keeping in touch with their inner self.
Most participants from both interviews and the focus group observed that members of these associations arrange cultural events that help second-generation Indian Americans stay connected to the home culture. I realized the importance of maintaining the religious values because it is your identity. Aug. Indian Students Association (ISA) also played an important role in preserving and maintaining the culture and identity. But after I grew up and started going to geetha classes. This again suggested that institutions like religious classes and student organizations contribute a lot in identity formation and maintenance among second-generation Indian American students.Texas Tech University. They talked about Hinduism and what you are supposed to do and it helped some to know about culture. Organizations such as South Asian Students Association (SASA). They taught a lot about Indian values and traditions. Most of the interviewees point out that they socialize with other Indian 55 . University student organizations like SASA and ISA provided them with an opportunity to mix with fellow Indian Americans and Indian students who share similar views and ideas. Tirumala. Friends All the participants from interviews and the focus group observed that they began to take more interest towards Indian culture and traditions after they entered the university. It can be assumed that these associations act as an additional push to identify and maintain the culture and traditions in secondgeneration Indian Americans. 2009 I did Sunday school for couple of years but I never took it seriously at all because I have never realized the importance of it. Lakshmi N.
21). Lakshmi N. you have already broken the ice and it makes easy to talk to because you already know that you have so much in common traditionally and culturally” said Kajol (female. Participants from the focus group session also expressed that they were able to maintain the culture as Indian friends surround them all the time. Gowri (female. eating Indian food. “When you meet someone from similar cultural background. garbha (religious event) and movie night. Indian American students also participate in all the traditional events like diwali (festival of lights). Hritik (male. listening to Indian songs etc and I am able to do all that because I am constantly with my Indian friends and I do not think I would have done that if I were not around them. Asked how important friends are in maintaining the culture. Hritik’s statement suggested that friends play an influential role in maintaining ethnic roots among Indian American students when they are away from home. listening to Bollywood music. attending Indian weddings. 21) said the following: We all try to maintain the Indian spirit by watching Indian movies. Tirumala. 22) responded the following 56 . 2009 American students and Indian students alike. and watching Bollywood movies were some of the activities Indian American students keenly involved.Texas Tech University. They also let me keep the traditions alive and help me keep me in check just by being around them. Going to temple. Aug. watching Indian television channels.
The interviewees and focus group participants stated that family friends also play a significant role in learning and maintaining Indian traditions and values. 23) observed the following: One of my mom’s friends. This showed that friends and family friends were equally important in maintaining Indian culture among second-generation Indian American students. family friends give them an extra push to learn about religious stories and moral values by making them read religious books. She always tells us about what’s going on and how we need to be sure and not forget our roots. They taught me a lot about our traditions and what’s right and what’s wrong by 57 .Texas Tech University. she is very culturally sound and very religious and she always tries to keep us that way. Deepa (female. She also tells us to remember who we are and where we come from. “Through my family friends I have learned some stuff about culture. 2009 They are extremely important. Lakshmi N. Aug. I mean I did not have too many Indian friends when I was younger and I think I did not understand a lot about the culture and traditions but now I have a lot of Indian friends and that influences me in knowing and understanding about some things like customs and values. I mean they come only next to family. The majority of the focus group participants observed that unlike peer groups. They noted that family friends try to teach them about values and traditions by inviting them to different functions like house warming or a religious puja (prayer). Tirumala.
He continued saying: I used to go to family friends’ house and hang out with them all the time.Texas Tech University. and friends. Therefore.” stated Rahul (male. They always told me not to forget my religious background and today they are one of the reasons my faith is really strong. I actually learned cooking Indian food from these family friends. religion. Aug. Following is the analysis that examined the research question 2: What role do mass media play in second-generation Indian Americans identity construction? Media Although the interviewees did not read ethnic newspapers regularly due to language barriers. Apart from family. Tirumala. some found them to be valuable sources of information especially 58 . Lakshmi N. watch Indian movies and have fun. 23). The mere presence of them helps second-generation Indian Americans remain cognizant of their culture and traditions. although this seems to depend on the right set of friends who share similar attitudes and a common believe system. We usually play. 2009 reading books like Bhagavadgeetha and Ramayana to me when I was little. it is better to focus on mediated sources of influence differentiated from the interpersonal ones just discussed. media influence cannot be taken lightly in identity construction process among secondgeneration Indian Americans. eat Indian food. The findings discussed above suggest that family friends and peer groups play a crucial role in constructing and maintaining an individual’s identity.
which I am not interested in. They acknowledged that the Indian music played through these stations reminds them of India and the culture in a 59 . 25). Focus group participants observed that even though newspapers and magazines focus on politics. very few interviewees claimed to have read Indian English newspapers and magazines to check out information on films and sports. Indian American students can occasionally learn about society and culture through newspapers as they focus on traditional events like holi and diwali and write articles about them. many participants from interviews as well as the focus group noted that they read books written by Indian authors like “The Namesake” and “Shantaram” and admitted that they can identify with the plots and characters of these novels. Kajol (female. 2009 about sports and movies. Lakshmi N.” said Rupa (female. I read the book “The Namesake” and can actually identify with it because my parents moved to United States and I was born here and I can identify with the family morals and values. All the participants listened to Indian radio stations when they are available and liked listening to Bollywood music and Indi pop albums. 21) stated: I love reading Indian books all the time because they have so much information about the Indian society and traditions. However. Interestingly. but I read English newspapers like “The Hindu” or “Times of India” to check out the cricket scores and read Bollywood news because everything else is about politics. “I hardly read Indian newspapers because I do not understand the language fully.Texas Tech University. Tirumala. Aug.
Rupa (female. 25). they still open a few spots to focus on religion and 60 . 22) said the following: “One of the time slots is about religion and they will do like mythology stories. another interview participant responded in the following: I love listening to Indian radio channels because they play Hindi music all the time. 23). “All these radio channels play Hindi music but again the radio jockeys have American accents which is weird. one interviewee had a different take on these radio channels and especially about RJ’s (radio jockey). Tirumala.Texas Tech University. Asked how different the Indian music is.” On the other hand. Though they spoke Hindi and Gujarathi they still have fake accents when it comes to English. 2009 subtle way. Very few focus group participants mentioned that they listen to religious talk shows and programs about traditional celebrations on radio to learn about customs and values. Lakshmi N. Puja (female. the above responses suggested that though radio channels play Hindi music for a majority of time. Although a lack of research work on Indian American radio makes it impossible to corroborate. I think you can learn about traditions like arranged marriages because half the time most of the songs talk about arranged marriages and religion.” reported Deepa (female. Aug. We always turn that program on and listen to the stories and it’s really about values and traditions. It is just kind of calm and peaceful and reminds me of India.
however. but I guess they are trying to send this message that no one is going to have a perfect life.Texas Tech University. Aug. did not like the soap operas and melodramatic plots of many daily serial programs but they all expressed a positive attitude towards the message these programs are trying to send across. Tirumala. Television played a pivotal role in bringing the Indian culture and traditions into the lives of Indians in the U. 21) said the following about these programs: All these television programs are bunch of melodramas and they are bad compared to the American Television programs. however. Lakshmi N. Sahara. All the participants maintained that their parents were the primary consumers of Indian television channels but they made the respondents watch Indian programs and movies that are culturally rich. which reminds me of Indian culture. Hritik (male. 22) said the following: My parents watch all the Indian channels and I watch with them whenever I am at home. Who wants to be lakhpathi etc. Aishwarya (female. Most of the participants stated that they learn few things about culture and traditions through radio. but not in Lubbock. Gemini.S. Most of the interviewees. They are some cool programs like Mahabharata. but that it keeps their Indian identity alive and active. All interviewees and focus group participants have subscriptions to satellite channels like Zee. they only have access to these channels at home. 2009 traditions. Star plus and Sony. and other areas of the diaspora through various programs and movies. there are going to be 61 . Teja.
Lakshmi N. which helps a lot in keeping that part of us alive. I guess television is our way to stay in tune with the Indian culture while we are here. The focus group participants had particularly strong memories of their parents telling them about the culture and traditional values through television programs when they were little. Aug. Half the stuff gets broadcast from India and you get to see parts of India. 2009 lot of problems and adversaries and you will have to stick together to get through the situation. All the participants from the interviews and the focus group expressed that the television channels try to teach Indian American students a lot about family values. 22). you can actually learn about family values and to respect your in-laws and older people.Texas Tech University. entertainment programs are rather popular compared to news programs among participants because a majority of the participants said that they don’t learn about Indian culture through news. Sharukh (male. 62 . religion and also language”. Gowri (female. the importance of religion and traditions. as they don’t watch news programs very often. Tirumala. I think we can definitely learn about family values. a focus group participant observed the following when asked about her impression of Indian television channels “[they] throw a lot of culture and traditions at you and they try to teach us all kids about values and traditions through some of their programs. 21) characterized cultural maintenance as follows: I guess. Accordingly. Most of the participants agreed that television helps in maintaining the cultural identity and stay in tune with the traditions and societal standards.
2009 Interestingly. that created new opportunities to stay connected to the homeland. most of the participants from interviews and the focus groups noted that they do not go online to check information regarding the Indian culture. However. Given the importance of electronic media among young adults it was surprising how second-generation Indian Americans did not find the Internet a significant vehicle to maintain and stay connected with their culture. Interestingly.” However. 21) observed that “Basically the only Indian website I have ever gone on to is movie websites and music sites. he expressed that going to those sites reminds him of India just because of the Indian media. Aug. But at the same time they also observed that the Internet does not specifically contribute towards strengthening their Indian identity as 63 .Texas Tech University. The majority of the focus group participants stated that they don’t learn about Indian culture through the internet because they would rather ask their parents or friends if they did not understand something than going online and reading about it. all the participants from interviews and focus groups noted that they use social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace to stay in touch with other Indian Americans and Indian friends. Lakshmi N. Hritik (male. Tirumala. Most of the existing research literature on Asian Americans identifies the Internet as a major contributor in cultural identity because of its link to vast information like online news papers. email and chat facilities etc. the secondgeneration Indian Americans at Texas Tech University who participated in this study did not see the Internet as a potential medium to keep connected to the home culture.
2009 they regularly meet up with most of their Facebook/Myspace friends through various ISA and SASA events and meetings. movies play an active role that transmit ideas. most of which are produced and circulated in India at the same time. 64 . the world’s second largest film industry. Aug. this research study focused on the role played by Bollywood movies. Accordingly. Lakshmi N. Following is the analysis that looked at research question 3: What role does Bollywood in particular play in the process of identity construction among secondgeneration Indian Americans? The influence of Bollywood movies on cultural identity Among the many different entertainment media. He observed that importance has been given to religious activities. It was found that among the Indian American students included in this study Texas Tech. and national values and culture in film narratives. traditions and culture through its variety of plots and characters. Ghahghaei (2007) stated that Hollywood movies play a major role in identity formation among Americans. in the identity formation of Indian American students. they rented Bollywood film DVD’s from local Indian stores. Participants stated that on average they watch Bollywood movies once or twice a week and mostly with friends and family. All the participants from interviews and the focus group observed that Bollywood movies play a crucial role in cultural identity maintenance. such as attending church and celebrating Christmas.Texas Tech University. Tirumala.
Bipasha (female. 2009 All participants preferred watching movies on DVDs to a theatre because movies on DVD have subtitles and are easy to read. 22). Indian movies played in mediocre theatres. Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge. and Rang De Basanti (See Appendix A for plot summaries) as their favorite movies and stated that they learned a lot by watching these movies. According to one interview participant. understand and embrace the culture. Swades. Indian movies focused on family values and they try to show that parents are important and they are always right.Texas Tech University. Few participants mentioned that it was irritating to watch movies in theatres with subtitles on because half the time they cannot read the subtitles. Aug. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. participants associated Indian movies with strong family values. religion and moral values. moral values and traditions. song and dance sequences. Gowri (female. to come around. Most of the participants mentioned Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Ghum. who veered away from the Indian culture. I think it is important because I have been raised with same values and 65 . like acceptance of family. However. and traditional Indian weddings. because it focuses on what’s really important to Indian people. where it was harder to read the subtitles. This is the common view shared among all the participants of interviews and focus groups. 22) said the following: I actually identify with Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum. Lakshmi N. They believed that movies with strong traditions and cultural values help the ABCD’s (American Born Confused Desi). They further added that most of the times. Tirumala.
The majority of the interview participants expressed that Indian movie’s doing a decent job in portraying a true Indian society and culture.Texas Tech University. Most of the focus group participants stated that they identify a lot with Indian movies and their narrations. 22). 2009 morals and I agree with the things they show in movies. Most of the participants stated that they could identify with these movies since they 66 . 22) said: I identify a lot with these movies. 23) said the following: I think they are really good and a doing a great job in portraying Indian culture and traditions. I think they in a way help me keep my culture and traditions alive because all these movies usually has something to do with festivals or religion and they do things that help me remember and maintain it. Interestingly all the other participants also shared similar views as Sandeep (male. In addition to Bollywood movies. all participants maintained that U. Sandeep (male. I look up to these movies and it is heartwarming to know that this is true and this is right. Aug. produced Indian American movies do a good job in teaching Indian culture and value system. culture and religious things like visiting temples. Most of them show values.S. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. praying etc. Deepa (female. I mean I have couple of friends who married to an outsider and not being accepted by the family and you see this all the time in Hindi movies where parents are not accepting of it. This teaches you that family is very important and you are not supposed to go against their wish.
I mean that’s something you don’t talk about with your parents and it’s really weird to watch when your parents are around because they don’t believe in pre marital sex 67 . He always hung out with Americans and did not really make any friends with Indians but then he moved to Austin and was surrounded by Indians and finally transformed into a Desi. 2009 represent Indian Americans and their life styles.Texas Tech University. Aug. Lakshmi N. a interview participant responded: I was watching this movie “Salaam Namaste” with my parents and then there was this scene in which Saif and Perity are having sex and I was like O’ my gosh they are having sex. but they all show a common theme of how the male protagonist in the movie hates everything about Indians but finally comes around and starts respecting the culture. 21) shared her experience in the following: I have watched American Desi and that’s exactly how my brother was when he was a kid. Few participants described that these Indian American movies like “ABCD” and “Where is the party yaar” are stereotyped and funny. Now he likes everything about India and gets involved in all the Indian events and cultural programs. I felt weird. Amir (male. Participants from interviews and the focus group alike noted that there is not much of a difference in watching movies with parents and friends because they watch for entertainment and fun. 22). Tirumala. I flipped out and fast forwarded the movie. all participants from interviews and the focus group stated that they feel very uncomfortable if there was a kissing scene or a sex scene in a movie whenever they watch with parents. Kajol (female. Asked why they felt uncomfortable. However.
Lakshmi N. the biggest thing I probably learned through movies is festivities and weddings. because my parents are not really big about participating in these events. and rakshabandhan watching it in movies. Rupa (female. it seems big in almost every movie. observed most of the participants from interviews and focus groups. Aug. 2009 and also do not approve of it. And then there is religion. I mean if I was watching with my kids I would fast forward it because it is weird. 25) reported: Culturally. diwali. It gave me an incentive to involve more in it. But you don’t have to feel awkward when you are watching it with your friends. Sree (male. 22) stated: 68 . I got enough religious aspects out of watching it in movies. Participants noted that they all learned a lot about festivities and weddings as most of the movies have plots and themes that revolve around these cultural elements. 24) a focus group participant also observed that “Most of the Hindi movies have to show some form of wedding and I guess that is kind of cool because we miss out on these big family gatherings and weddings and it’s great to watch it in movies. Religion and togetherness are the other things they learn through Bollywood movies.” All participants expressed that Bollywood helps them keep their traditions and values alive by representing the culture in movies and reinforcing the importance of maintaining and passing it on to the future generations. It helps me stay connected to the culture and ethnic roots.Texas Tech University. So I learned a lot about festivities like holi. Puja (female. Tirumala.
Tirumala. violence and all kinds of crazy stuff that they never showed before. Most of the participants from interviews said that whenever they watch movies with their parents. They also maintained that their parents talk about traditions and values whenever they watch Indian movies. Finally. They are kind of showing more affection’s in the movies like kissing scenes and love making scenes. because they get to learn something and will be able to pass it on to their kids. 22) observed: Bollywood is really pushing towards the American way. However. They also show these characters talk in English. sexually-suggestive clothing.Texas Tech University. Deepika (female. and general life style. the majority of the participants observed that the culture and traditions portrayed by Bollywood movies were precise and true to what’s being practiced among the Indian families. which help Indian American’s become aware of Indian culture and traditions. 2009 One thing that I have noticed is that Indians have close knit families and all the neighbors always know each other and that’s the kind of values brought in through movies and that is really important for all these Indian Americans. a few participants from interviews argued that the Bollywood movies are becoming more and more Westernized in respect to public affection. one parent would try to explain the reasons behind a particular theme. drug use. Lakshmi N. 69 . Aug.
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
This interesting comment may imply that the globalization may have led to the Westernization of Bollywood movies that cause the loss of unique culture and traditions. Still, the majority of the participants expressed that Bollywood is one of the better ways to learn about Indian culture and how they are being practiced in the society. This suggested that among different mediums, Bollywood movies in fact had the strongest influence on second-generation Indian Americans in learning and maintaining the Indian culture and traditions.
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
Chapter VI Conclusion and Limitations
This research study found that family, institutions like temples, religion classes, and student organizations, and friends play a predominant role in the identity construction of second-generation Indian Americans. While examining the media’s role in identity construction, influence of print media and radio seemed very limited due to language barriers and lack of visuals respectively. On the other hand television proved to be very influential as they telecast cultural programs and play Indian movies frequently. Interestingly, among the different mediums, Bollywood movies and entertainment programs that are related to Bollywood took a significant role in informing secondgeneration Indian Americans about Indian traditions and value system. The following table outlines the summary of major findings from the current research study.
Texas Tech University, Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Aug. 2009
Table 3. Summary of research findings Research Questions 1. Factors influencing identity construction of second-generation Indian Americans 2. The role of media, excluding movies, in identity construction of second-generation Indian Americans • • • • • • • Family Institutions Peer Groups and Media Print – influence seems limited due to reported language barrier Radio – influence seems limited due to lack of visuals Television – seems very influential through ethnic programs and Indian movies • 3. Role of Bollywood movies in identity construction Internet – a very limited influence Influential due to • • • • No language barrier (subtitles) Showcasing of family values and religion Portrayal of Indian society and traditions Transmission of Indian culture in an engaging fashion Findings
The results of this study show that the cultural identity of Indian American students is constructed and maintained through various interpersonal and mediated 72
This factor played a crucial role in constructing the identity and also helped to build a strong commitment towards Indian culture. Aug. which largely supports the previous research findings of Jung and Lee (2004). institutions. Tirumala. in-group and outgroup interactions and the media. Lakshmi N. Korea and Nepal. The results suggested that identity construction and maintenance in second-generation Indian Americans is an ongoing process. First. One interesting factor to observe here is that Indian Americans get along well with other Asian American students from China. Students get together often to watch Indian movies. They seem to talk to family members almost every day and most often use ethnic language blended with English while communicating with parents. Lee (2000). second-generation Indian American students’ strong commitment to Indian culture was reflected in their daily activities with family and peer groups. which reflects various social and cultural factors. They enjoy hanging out with 73 . Student organizations also played a crucial role in maintaining the identity and staying connected to the home culture by giving second-generation Indian Americans a chance to socialize with other Indian Americans and Indians. 2009 communicative activities such as family environment. listen to Indian music. visit temples or eat ethnic food. Apart from family. and Durham (2004) who studied other AsianAmerican populations. student associations like South Asian Students Association (SASA) and Indian Students Association (ISA) provide opportunities for them to meet and interact with peers having the same ethnic background.Texas Tech University.
Indian Americans do not read ethnic news papers due to the language barrier. With regard to media influence on cultural identities. This again supported the notion of cultural proximity by Straubhaar (2003). All Indian American students stated that they feel comfortable with Indian music and television shows.Texas Tech University. 2008). who claimed that people would gravitate toward media from their own culture. however. This appeared to be true in this case of secondgeneration Indian Americans as well. Lee (2004) argued that media played a significant role in constructing and maintaining cultural identities because. Aug. Lakshmi N. In fact most of the Indian American students admitted that they sometimes follow Indian soap operas and love Indian music. Most of the Indian American students readily associated these dance forms with Indian culture and stated that they watched these cultural artifacts at least once. 74 . Tirumala. 2009 Chinese Americans or Korean Americans as there is a cultural proximity within the Asian culture (Ksiazek and Webster. It was learned through this research study that Indian American parents try to create an interest among their children towards classical dance and singing forms by taking them to such cultural events or discussing them when they appear on television. Print (newspapers and magazines) did not seem to have a major impact on how Indian American students learned about Indian culture. They also showed a great interest in learning Indian classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. This suggested that there was a very little cultural loss when Indian American students are able to consume Indian media products. information regarding various ethnic groups is being documented and commented upon by the media today.
Bollywood movies and other ethnic programs that created an ample opportunity to stay connected with the Indian culture and traditions. The Internet was used less frequently than the researcher anticipated for news and other news related information from India. Another finding from the interviews and focus groups was that television played a crucial role in bridging the connections between Indian Americans and home culture through various entertainment programs and movies. of all the variables that were explored and examined in this study. Tirumala.Texas Tech University. Indian music has a distinct style and it succeeds in reminding second-generation Indian American students about Indian culture. As said earlier. which has appeared to bridge the gap. Thus. Though there are no Indian radio stations in this West Texas region. 75 . Aug. Interestingly. which helps to create an ethnic community. Lakshmi N. The Internet extends communication capacity by facilitating interactive communicative channel. 2009 very few Indian Americans read books written in English by Indian authors. Most of these Indian Americans listen to Hindi music on radio and through the Internet. Indian American students are able to listen to Indian music through the Internet. which keep them connected to the Indian society and culture through its characters and scenarios. Indian Americans watched cultural shows dealing with ethnic dance forms. the Internet was the only variable that did not agree with the research literature because most of the Indian American students preferred direct interaction with peer groups compared to technology enhanced communication process. Indian Americans did not see the Internet as a potential opportunity to improve ethnic community relations and to maintain Indian identity.
however. second-generation Indian Americans were also able to identify with Bollywood movie characters and scenarios that remind them of their identity and give them information to use in their own lives. Tirumala. By consuming Bollywood movies. Bollywood movies appeared to serve as the most influential communication medium in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity of the second-generation Indian American students. As suggested in the literature. a strong sense of religion. Participants watched Indian movies regularly and majority of them kept up with latest Bollywood movies and cinema news. which help them in maintaining the Indian identity.Texas Tech University. The findings suggested that secondgeneration Indian Americans grew up consuming Bollywood movies and constructed and 76 . second-generation Indian Americans identified Indian culture with family togetherness. The new communication technologies like satellite televison. Aug. festivities. Through the movies. 2009 Parents made their children watch ethnic programs and mythological serials like Ramayana and Mahabharata that taught morals and value system. Second-generation Indian Americans seemed to consider Bollywood movies as a vehicle for showcasing Indian culture and traditions. Indian American students learned about Indian traditions and customs. Of all the media. Lakshmi N. the Internet and DVDs played a tremendous role in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity as they provided an easy access to Bollywood movies. television appeared to play an important role in identity construction and maintenance process. and distinctly Indian attitudes and behaviors. Interestingly.
Lakshmi N.” Another finding from this research study was that the Bollywood movies appeared to have a major influence on second-generation Indian American students in maintaining the identity. religion and peer groups enabled second-generation Indian Americans to construct and maintain their “Indianness. It is safe to assume that Bollywood movies act as an additional push in identity construction process amongst second-generation Indian American students. This factor explains the popularity of Bollywood even amongst the Indian diaspora communities. 2009 maintained the cultural identity by learning values and traditions that were reflected in these movies. all is not well with the current Bollywood trend. Aug. Indian American students did not like the idea of Bollywood movies deviating from Indian culture and becoming more Westernized. Bollywood movies not only act as a bridge between home and diaspora but also transmit cultural and traditions that play a crucial role in constructing and maintaining the identity in second-generation Indian American students.Texas Tech University. 77 . They preferred Bollywood movies that depict family togetherness and other cultural aspects. which are otherwise considered to be clichéd by many Indians. Tirumala. Thus. Bollywood movies along with other social communicative contexts like family. This suggested that movies with strong family values and traditions might have a greater affinity with diaspora communities compared to the movies that are influenced by Western scripts. However. especially when they are living away from home. To sum up.
Though utmost care was taken to not let researcher’s bias influence the study in any kind. Although statements about the influence of media and Bollywood on identity construction were made in this study. the research study has its own limitations. Lakshmi N. some form of quantification techniques needs to be administered to support the findings and generalize the results. extensive research. The study should have administered more than one focus group session to get diverse views and ideas on Bollywood movies and cultural representation. However.Texas Tech University. The final drawback of this study was that the volunteers may have participated with predetermined mindsets and shared biased opinions. To produce more consistent results. In future research. Another drawback of this study is that participants were frequent consumers of Bollywood movies and results may have been different if the study has looked at Indian Americans who watch Bollywood movies less frequently. it was very difficult to generalize the results because the research is based on qualitative studies and was conducted only in one university with a relatively few number of participants and for a short length of time. needs to be conducted at more universities. Aug. with a large number of participants. This study was a good starting point to focus more 78 . Ethnography of second-generation Indian Americans might shed more light on their daily activities that maintain cultural identity. both in-depth interviews and surveys. it is important to understand that nothing can be said about the magnitude and statistical significance of this influence. his Indian identity may in fact have influenced some participants to give socially desirable responses. First. Tirumala. 2009 Despite many important findings.
Texas Tech University. 79 . The study also found that second-generation Indian Americans are surprisingly similar to Indians with respect to the knowledge about Indian culture and traditions. future research works in this area need to examine how different female audience associate Bollywood texts to the Indian culture and traditions from their male counterparts. Importantly. especially through Bollywood movies. It is an interesting finding. Bollywood narratives and their influence in maintaining the identity. Finally. Tirumala. the research study successfully tried to answer all the important questions and provided insight into second-generation Indian American student’s attitudes and their take on Indian culture. Lakshmi N. The findings of this study are in line with cultural studies perspective in terms of defining cultural identity as a product of both interpersonal and mediated interactions. as the Indian media tend to portray Indian Americans in negative contexts and describe some of them as American Born Confused Desi (ABCD). the cultural identity of the second-generation Indian Americans living in diasporic intercultural contexts is an ongoing process. this study found that most of the second-generation Indian American students who participated take pride in their identity and follow Indian traditions and customs with utmost respect and sincerity. one who tries to avoid their home country identity and assimilate into the host culture. In conclusion. Aug. which is defined and re-defined by social interactions and media. 2009 on second-generation Indian American students in areas like gender difference in understanding culture. However.
Central Peripheries: Anglophone India and its Diaspora (pp. A. Nostalgia. E. In Martina-Ghosh Schellhorn (Eds. Baijal. identity and tourism: Bollywood in the Indian diaspora.. Aug. (2006). Beard. 6. et al. Greenberg. Modernity at large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Culture. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. 3(2). 295-310. Lakshmi N.. 2008. Vol. 80 . (2006). and Society. Organizations and Society. V.. U. 19(3). 7(2).livejournal. 117-133. Retrieved Jan 10. A. Bose. Accounting. Vol. 9(1). & Punathambekar. (1990). Basu..Texas Tech University. Vol. W. 2009 References Ablett. Retrieved Feb 20. The bird of gold: The rise of India’s consumer market.. Vol. Farrell. A. Baym. Popular culture and professional identity: Accountants in the movies. New German Critique. 169-190. (1975). A. Cultural industry reconsidered. A. 27-42.scribd. 303-318. P. Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. Vol 6(2). Gender and Fan culture. A.com/doc/47945/McKinsey-MGI-indiaconsumer-full-report. Watching Indian movies in Australia: Media.boloji.. N. 1219. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2008. Bhat. (1994). South Asian Popular Culture. Berlin: LIT Verlag. Bandyopadhyay. Vol. (2004). C. Traditional content and narrative structure in the hindi commercial cinema. from http://www. Adorno. Appadurai. 79-100. A. R.htm. My own island home: The Orkney homecoming. Indian Diaspora The Bridge That Links India to the World. T.. Theory. E. Gersch. community and consumption. Bhuyan. Asian Folklore Studies. G. Vol. from http://www. (2007). Appadurai. 2008.com/fandebate/4607.243-250). (1995). Retrieved Jan 20. Booth. Athique. Journal of Material Culture.. (2008).com/society/096. 54. A. from http://community. (1996).) Peripheral Centres. D.html. (2007). Beinhocker. J. (2005). Tirumala. Continuity and Change in the Perception of ‘Indianness’: Issues of Identity among the Indians and the Indian diaspora.
(2006). (n.). NY: Warner Books. Aug. New Jersy: Prentice Hall. New Delhi: Sage Publications. (2006). 3(2).com/movies/mov355/rang_de_basanti-review. 25-44). D.com/Movies/Swades/Summary/. Globalization and the experience of culture: The resilience of nationhood. New York University.K. Retrieved Jan 10. & Gaither. (2007). Albany : University of New York. Bollywood flashback: Hindi film music and the negotiation of identity among British-Asian youths. CA: Sage. King of Bollywood: Sharukhkhan and the seductive world of Indian Cinema. ‘Rang de basanti’ splendid. Dissanayake. Cohn. P. and Media Representations (pp. K.apunkachoice. Vol. Bollywood: Sociology Goes to the Movies. Boyce. 17(2). Deming. Thousand Oaks.). C. Retrieved Jan 20. Gentz and S. (2007). (2005). A. 91-115. 2008. W. Kramer (Eds) Globalization. Privileging identity. & Lincoln. Swades summary.. Dawson. N. (2008). & Neale. from http://www. Tirumala. 2008.. Journal of Public Relations Research. Difference. Brand Bollywood: A new global entertainment order. Unpublished honors thesis. (1972). Thousand Oaks. New York. K. (2006). T. (2005). A. A. Dave. CA: Sage. New York. Y. Bollywood in the US: The movie business’s most prolific producer meets its biggest market. Retrieved Jan 20. (2005). M. S. India: The Social Anthropology of a Civilization. South Asian Popular Culture.org/site/DocServer/m_e_tool_series_indepth_interviews. (2006).Texas Tech University. Cultural Identities. 81 . Dudrah. Handbook of qualitative research.d. and Power: The circuit of culture as a basis for public relations theory. Curtin. Lakshmi N. Conducting in-depth interviews: A guide for designing and conducting in-depth interviews for evaluation input.pdf? docID=6301. United States. from http://www.pathfind. N. (3rd Ed.html. K. 2008. R. R.starpulse. B. 161-176. Denzin. Chopra. Deoshi. from http://www. 2009 Bose. P. In N.. Pathfinder International Tool Series.
S. M. A. Hall. 695-727)... Cultural Studies. Aug. and communications: Looking backward and forward at Cultural studies. London: Arnold.).com/hollywood-movies-andamerican-identity-formation.greencine. Constructing the new ethnicicties: Media. 82 . Gillespie. What is cultural studies? (pp. (2006).. Thousand Oaks. culture. Coverstory. Hall. Retrieved May 15. In J. Retrieved July 6. T.articleberry. CA: Sage Hall. 1-11). A. 21(2). identity. Athens. Tirumala. and consumption in ABC’s The Bachelor. Technology and tradition: Audio-visual culture among South Asian families in west London. In S. (2007). (2002).Texas Tech University. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. and Diaspora identity. The work of representation. And yet my heart is Indian: The Bombay film industry and the Hindianization of Bollywood. Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices (pp. Thousand Oaks.). Ghahghaei. Hollywood movies and American identity information. Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrains. Universit y of Georgia.. H.com/extweb/ncpressrelease. (1997). Bollywood. Critical studies in media communication. & Y. 2008. Retrieved Jan 20. S. Hall. (1996). M. CA: University of California press. (1989). Fontana. The sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. The interview. CA: Sage. P. Durham. R. Ganti. (2007).com/central/guide/Bollywood?page=0%2C0. & Frey. from http://www. London: Sage Publications. S.. 2009. NewStateman. Storey (Ed. Gyalzen. Denzin. (1997). & Negus. I will accept this rose”:Representation. (2004). In N. K. L. Mackaym H. Vol. 226-239. “Yes. Lincoln (Eds.). J. Hall (Ed. sexuality. 2008). 336-343). Lakshmi N. from http://www. Dwyer. 2008.a. (2005). A. 3. 2009 du Gay. Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of Sony Walkman. Janes.nsf/docid/B43C59852DFA15A8CA2 5741000345155. FICCI – PricewaterhouseCoopers Report on Indian Entertainment and Media Industry (n. Vol. P. Berkeley. S. 140-161. (2005). Bollywood’s new dream: Indian cinema has a global future in its sights. from http://movies.pwc. in the lives of South Asian immigrant girls. Race.
113-140. Young Asian Women and relationships: Traditional or transnational? Ethnic and Racial Studies. How a burgeoning Indian diaspora tunes into the American dream. Indian cinema’s global reach: Historiography through testimonies. (Eds. et al. from http://www. Retrieved Jan 10. V. from Overseas Indian: Connecting India with its diaspora Web site: http://www. Vol. (n. (2000). (1982).d.S. 22.S. (2000). ethnic media: The case of Latina magazines. from http://www. 3. G. Vol.overseasindian. Retrieved Jan 20. Iordanova. (2003). M. Lakshmi N. (1976). I. 38-80.htm.3 million.usindiafriendship.asp.) Retrieved Jan 20. (1999).com/2006/10/24/stories/2006102401782200. How ethnic are U. 105-137. Indian diaspora. 6(1). Mass Communication & Society. society and the media (pp. Indian American population now over 2. Aug. & Adorno. 2008.). In. 867-891. Retrieved Jan 10. Global weds local: The reception of Hum Aapke Hain Koun. 2008. H. & Cooper. 2009 Hall. Diamond. Dialectic of Enlightenment. S. Hennik. Gurevitch. South Asian Popular Culture. 56-90).. (1999). from http://findarticles. (n. World Literature today. Vol. European Journal of Cultural Studies. India Population Explodes in the U. 2008.. T. W. R.htm. 3. London: Arnold. (2006). 2008. Review of Korean Studies.net/indian_population_explodes. Vol.in/2006/aug/news/23n1. (1987). Vol. 229-248 Johnson. from The Hindu Web site : http://www. 83 . 231-248. Continuum International Publication Group.nriol. Retrieved Jan 20. What is cultural studies anyway? Social Text.com/indiandiaspora/index. The rediscovery of “ideology”: Return of the repressed in media studies. M. 2008. D. Jaikumar. Johnson. Bollywood Spectaculars. Joseph. Jo.). Tirumala. Horkheimer. P.d.shtml.com/p/articles/mi_hb5270/is_34_77/ai_n29059774/. 4(2). Y. Locating ethnic identity and language among second-generation Korean-Americans. (2006). M. (2006). M. Culture. Juluri. 2(2). P.Texas Tech University.. A.hinduonnet.
(2005).C (2004). Vol. 93-113. 52(3). (2004).html. Atlantic Journal of Communication. Vol. Social construction of cultural identity: An ethnographic study of Korean American students. Exploring the relationship between electronic literacy and heritage language maintenance. B. Retrieved Jan 20. (1988). (1997). 14(1). Kaur. Asian Journal of Communication. Language Learning and Technology. CA: Sage.nationalgeographic. & Webster. C. Tirumala. 12(3). J. Newbury Park. Key. (1997). (2006).Texas Tech University. India International Centre Quarterly. B.. Bollywood comes to Nigeria. Korean immigrants’ viewing patterns of Korean satellite television and its role in their lives.php?id=21. Research design in occupational education. Cultural proximity and audience behavior : The role of language in patterns of polarization and multicultural influency. 2008. community. Kvale. from http://www. Retrieved Jan 20. Lee. Kelly. Lovgren. Hollywood. A. from http://www. (1996). (1980). Bollywood: Indian films splice Bombay. J. A. E. 81-100. 84 . Bollyworld: Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens. CA: Sage Publications Ksiazek. J. Larkin. Contemporary South Asia. Interview: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. & Lee. 146-162. Viewing the West through Bollywood: A celluloid occident in the making.S. 2008. 11-21. R. Vol. R. Thousand Oaks. Vol. Vol. M. Vol. Lee. Lakshmi N. S. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.J. 199-209. Vol. R. (2002).samarmagazine. (2008).. Retrieved Jan 20.okstate. The ties that bind: Family relationships in the mythology of hindi cinema. Aug.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/newpage21. 68-80.T. E. Thousand Oaks. CA: Sage. and kinwork.P. G.htm. 8(1). Kalkar. Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. (1996).org/archive/article. Ethnic conversions: Family. S.10(2). 19. women. 2009 Jung. & Sinha. 2008. 11(2). from http://news. (2004). Ethnic Studies Review. Krueger. Kaur.com/news/2004/01/0121_040121_Bollywoodfilms . S.
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association.com/hub/latest-bollywood. (1946).d. Rajadhyaksha. from http://ag.newsweek. (2007). from http://www. Tourism Management. A. Tirumala. The role of the Internet in forging a pluralistic integration: A study of Chinese intellectuals in the United States.edu/fcs/cyfernet/cyfar/focus. 25-39. (2003). (n. S. Calcutta: Signet Press. S(2008).com/Nightline/Story?id=410630&page=1. The Communication Review. & Sewell. (2000). Vol. Vol. S.arizona. Overdorf.htm.com/id/72719/page/1. Quebec. 2008. from http://abcnews. The values of fantasy: Indian popular cinema through Western scripts. Retrieved April 10. 20(3).. 2008. 2009.. (2005). Journal of Popular Culture.Texas Tech University. (1995). M.). Nehru. Tourism and the symbols of identity. 313-321. 2008. International Journal of Cultural Studies. from http://hubpages. D. 73-89.go. Lakshmi N. Using focus groups for evaluation. J. Retrieved Sep 20. 355376. M. Sikka. J. C. A. 6(3). 85 . International Journal of Cultural Studies. (1996). 8(2). I need an Indian touch: Glocalization and Bollywood films. R. Vol. Montreal. Bollywood gets ready to take on Hollywood. Gazette. J. 151-173.Vol. S. Vol. Canada. & Liu. 1. 4(1). 2009 Marczak. Rao. Hooray for Bollywood. 2008. M. Nayar. S.allacademic. 10. Punathambekar. 62(6). Aug. Palmer. Desperately seeking an identity: Diasporic cinema and the articulation of transnational kinship. Rao. (2003).com/meta/p228862_index. S.html. Retrieved June 15. Retrieved Jan18. Mishra. 57-76. The globalization of Bollywood: An ethnography of non-elite audiences in India. Vol. 495-504. Moorti. Discovery of India. Retrieved Jan 20. (2007). Vol. Melkote. TBA. (2005). from http://www. The Bollywoodization of the Indian cinema: Cultural nationalism in a global arena. Bollywood. Inter-Asian Cultural Studies. Bollywood in the Indian-American Diaspora: Mediating a transitive logic of cultural citizenship. J. (1999).
from http://www. 2008. (2002). from http://www. language. Retrieved Jan 20. J. (1986). The social identity theory of inter-group behavior. Srinivas. Active viewing: An ethnography of the Indian film audience. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Mahwah. philosophy.com/gupshup/archives/2006/10/Bollywood_woos. S. Retrieved Jan 20. D (2008).com/press_centre/press_releases/070403_Bollywood.html. Media and diasporic consciousness: An exploration among Iranians in London. The active audience: Spectatorship. Thussu. K. Shah. Paper presented at the ICA. Bollywood enters Australia. L. Vol. J. Aug. art and customs. (2005). 2008. (1998). (2005). India: Penguin Books. Srinivas. html. 77–110). New York: Holt and Co. 25(3). Philadelphia: Open University Press. Thompson. 155-173. 2008. Qualitative Sociology. Choosing national TV: Cultural capital. 26(3).visitlondon. In S. Ethnic minorities and the media (pp. (2002).). The End of India.allacademic. H. A. G. Media.psfk. from http://corporate. In M. Cultural connections: Laagan and its audience responses. Tajfel. F. (2003). 86 .html. Visual Anthropology. Boom time for Bollywood. The impact of international television: A paradigm shift (pp. Worchel and L. from http://www. Vol. Srebemy. Culture & Society. J. Retrieved Jan 18. Lakshmi N. 2009 Singh.Texas Tech University. (2003). social relations and the experience of cinema in India. Bollywood woos Europe. 11(4). language. Chigago: Nelson-Hall. Vol. Austin (Eds. 179-196). Tirumala. Psychology of Intergroup Relations.html. and cultural proximity in Brazil. Taylor. (2007). 323-353. (2000).E. & Turner. L. Cottle (Ed. Border crossings and diasporic identities: Media use and leisure practices of an ethnic minority.com/meta/p228852_index. researches into the development of mythology. 409418.. Inc.com/2005/09/Bollywood_enter. C. religion. Stadtler. In S. K. (2006). Skipper. The Globalization of Bollywood: The Hype and the Hope by Daya Kishan Thussu.). W. D. Straubhaar.egothemag. L. Primitive culture. B. Third World Quarterly. Retrieved Jul 10. 517-524.). 2009. Sheth. Elasmar (Ed. Vol. 24. (1874).
(2006). 2009 Uberoi.america. A more perfect union: Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods in social marketing research.gov/st/washfileenglish/2006/August/20060809124617nainaw hdaw0 8614466. Aug. Tirumala. Social Marketing Quaterly. K. Lakshmi N. N. 87 . Williams. London: Penguin Books.html. from http://www. Wadhwani. (1961). 53-58. Retrieved Jan 20. N. 305-336. P. 2008.Texas Tech University. (1996). R. A. Contributions to Indian Sociology. Vol. The diaspora comes home: Disciplining desire in DDLJ. (1998). Weinreich. 32(2). The long revolution. “Bollywood Mani” rising in United States.
he decided to marry Anjali. He enrolls at a university where Pooja is a student. he finds out from his grandmothers the reasons behind the split. Rohan also learns that Rahul and Anjali are living in London. Yash plans to get Rahul married off to his friend's daughter. who believes in maintaining traditions. Aug. Rahul tells his father that he is in love with Anjali and wishes to marry her.Texas Tech University. Yashovardhan (Yash) is a popular businessman in India. 2009 Appendix A Plot Summaries Following are the plot summaries of few films that are mentioned in the study: Khabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) This film revolves around Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) who is the adopted son of Yashvardhan Raichand (Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife Nandini (Jaya Bachchan). Anjali's sister have no place to go. Naina (Rani Mukherji). However. he finds out Rahul's address. Rahul chances upon Anjali (Kajol) and falls in love with her. Pooja tells Rahul that Rohan is from India and 88 . however. This results in Yash asking Rahul to leave his home. As soon as Rohan arrives in London. He tells her who he is and asks her help to bring the family back together. this angers Yash and berates Rahul for not taking family traditions into consideration. Tirumala. Rohan. but only to find that her father has passed away. has never learned why Rahul left home. Rahul goes to inform Anjali that he wont be able to marry her. Lakshmi N. However. After realizing that Anjali and Pooja (Kareena Kapoor).
A beer guzzler who is never serious about anything in life.Aslam comes from a Muslim family and refuses to endorse the opinion that Muslims ought not mingle with Hindus. aided by Sonia (Soha Ali Khan).After having auditioned many in vain for her movie. Eventually. Rahul goes back to India to participate in his paternal grandmother's funeral but never speaks to his father. 2009 he is looking for some place to live. DJ starts hitting on Sue the minute he sees her.Texas Tech University. he reveals his identity and convinces Rahul to go back to India. Yash apologizes to Rahul and berates him for not coming home sooner. He smokes heavily and seeks happiness among his friends. Rahul and Angali let Rohan stay at their place. Sukhi is full of fun and frolic. loveless life. Rang De Basanti (2006) Sue (Alice Patten) comes to India to make a documentary on some freedom fighters about whom she gets to know from the diary of her late grandfather who was a British officer in India before 1947. Sue. Tirumala. Karan (Siddharth) and Sukhi (Sharman Joshi). He has no girlfriend and rues (quite portentously) that he would die a 89 . meets a group of friends in whom she sees the characters of her documentary. Karan is the silent one. The group consists of DJ (Aamir Khan). DJ is originally Daljeet Singh from a Punjabi family consisting of a loving mother (excellently portrayed by Kiron Kher). Things end on a happy note. Aslam (Kunal Kapoor). Rohan finally convinces Rahul to speak to Yash. He is rich but has a dry. Aug. Lakshmi N.
Lakshmi N. To them values like patriotism. Also part of the group is Fl. Swades: We. Karan. None of the friends is serious enough to be a part of Sue’s documentary. Tirumala. after a few years Mohan becomes nostalgic for his home and takes a 90 . But Sue can see the characters of her movie in them. Ajay dies in a MiG crash and is labeled as a rookie pilot by the Defence Minister who is unwilling to accept shortcomings in the MiG aircrafts. Lft. Ajay’s mother goes into coma. Sukhi. 2008). He is the only one in the group who has dedication to serve the country. In DJ she sees Chandrashekhar Azad.Even as the five friends agree to be a part of her movie.Texas Tech University. But they are beaten mercilessly by the cops. DJ. Aug. they still cannot accept the virtues of the characters (of the freedom fighters) they play. But then. Ajay Rathod (Madhavan). In Karan she sees Bhagat Singh and in Aslam she sees Ashfak. where he worked as an engineer in NASA. But they choose a very extreme way to do it (Deoshi. Aslam. the people (2004) Mohan Bhargava (Sharukh Khan) left the small village in India where he was born and raised to go to the United States. Ajay’s mother (Waheeda Rahman) and Pandey (Atul Kulkarni) lead the protest against the Defence Minister to get Ajay the honour he deserved. But. the love of Sonia (Soha). Sonia. 2009 kunwara. DJ and friends decide to bring the truth to light. sacrificing oneself for the sake of country are just beautiful words they cannot relate to.
) 91 . but she also finds herself struck by the charm and intelligence of the adult Mohan. a woman who helped to raise him as a boy.Texas Tech University.d. While searching for Kaveri. n. But many in the community have little regard for Mohan's accomplishments in the United States until he steps forward to help his old neighbors by revamping the village's antiquated electrical system and increase the rate of literacy (Deming. one of his childhood friends who had stayed behind to serve the community as a teacher. Tirumala. 2009 leave of absence in order to visit Kaveri (Kishori Ballal). Aug. and the two build a relationship. Mohan becomes reacquainted with Gita (Gayatri Joshi). Gita thinks little of Mohan's desire to bring Kaveri back to the United States with him. Lakshmi N.
What does being Indian/Indian-American/American mean to you? c. What role do mass media play in second-generation Indian Americans identity construction? a. Do you see any difference in Indian Culture from Indian American culture? (If yes. What are some of the differences you find in Indian magazines/news papers produced in India from that of United States? 92 . Aug. 2009 Appendix B Discussion Guide Discussion guide for in-depth interviews and focus groups: 1.Texas Tech University. Name some activities that influence you in learning about Indian culture? f. Lakshmi N. What media do you use in general? b. What factors do second-generaton Indian Americans identify as influencing their identity construction? a. What role does family and friends play in your life with respect to your cultural identity? 2. what are they?) e. How do you culturally identify yourself? b. Tirumala. What are your general impressions on Indian Culture? d.
Would you say that Bollywood movies represent Indian traditions and values? f. What cultural aspects do you learn from Bollywood movies? Any specifics that you can think of? g. What roles does Bollywood in particular play in the process of identity construction among second-generation Indian Americans? a. Aug. 2009 c. What Indian television channels you watch regularly? What cultural aspects have you picked up from those various programs? e. Do you find yourself identifying with the movie characters and plots? e. Lakshmi N. What is your general impression of Bollywood movies? c. How often do you watch Indian movies? Who do you watch these movies with? b. How does your use of Bollywood movies differ from your parents use? d. Tirumala. How often do you listen to Indian radio stations and what kind of influence do you think they have on you in learning about culture and traditions? d.Texas Tech University. What is your opinion on the culture portrayed in Bollywood movies? Do you think they represent the reality? 93 . How often do you use the Internet to know about India and culture? 3.
I am here to invite you to participate in a research study that I designed to understand the role of Bollywood movies in cultural identity construction. Tirumala. All responses will be kept confidential and no identifying personal factors will be used in reporting the results of this study.00 for your time in participating in the study. we are interested in your opinions regarding Bollywood movies and its influence in maintaining the Indian culture and traditions. Thanks for your cooperation. This study is being conducted for academic purposes and has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Office of Research Services at Texas Tech University. More precisely.Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. You will be compensated $20. Lakshmi N. In order to do this. Tirumala College of Mass Communications Texas Tech University. Aug. you will be asked to participate in in-depth interview session that would last no more than an hour. 2009 Appendix C Interview Consent Form Hi. 94 .
In order to do this. Lakshmi N. we are interested in your opinions regarding Bollywood movies and its influence in maintaining the Indian culture and traditions. 2009 Appendix D Focus group Consent Form Hi. You will be compensated $10. Lakshmi N. you will be asked to participate in a focus group session that would last no more than an hour. I am here to invite you to participate in a research study that I designed to understand the role of Bollywood movies in cultural identity construction. All responses will be kept confidential and no identifying personal factors will be used in reporting the results of this study. This study is being conducted for academic purposes and has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Office of Research Services at Texas Tech University. Tirumala. Thanks for your cooperation. Aug. 95 .Texas Tech University.00 for your time in participating in the study. More precisely. Tirumala College of Mass Communications Texas Tech University.
Agree (Permission is granted. 2009 Permission to Copy In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master’s degree at Texas Tech University or Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.Texas Tech University. I agree that the Library and my major department shall make it freely available for research purposes. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. Tirumala Student Signature 07-26-09 Date . Aug. Permission to copy this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Director of the Library or my major professor.) Student Signature 07-26-09 Date Disagree (Permission is not granted. It is understood that any copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my further written permission and that any user may be liable for copyright infringement.) _____ Lakshmi N.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.