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
...........................................................................Texas Tech University......23 III........................................................ Introduction .........................................11 Cultural Identity........................28 Cultural Identity of Asian Americans.... 2009 Table of Contents Acknowledgements .........21 Oceania .......................................................................................................21 Africa and Russia................................................................................................................... Lakshmi N........................................1 Reasons for the Popularity..................... Literature Review ................22 Bollywood in United States .........................................25 The Circuit of Culture......... ii Abstract ..........................................15 Bollywood & Diaspora ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Theoretical Framework ........v List of Tables.......................................................................................26 The Concept of Ethnic Identity.................................................................................................................12 II......................................................................................1 Bollywood Movies and Identity ......................................25 Cultural Studies .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 A Brief History of Bollywood Industry ..................................................................................................................31 IV....................................... Methodology ................... Aug..22 United Kingdom and Europe ......................................10 The Indian Diaspora ..................................................................................................37 Qualitative research ........ Tirumala.....................................................................................................................................5 On being “Indian”............................................37 iii ...............................................................................................................................................................................................20 Asia ..... vi I...................................
...................................................................................................................................................................................................................53 Friends ........... Aug....................................................................... Lakshmi N............................71 References.................................. Discussion Guide .................92 C....................................................................................................95 iv ................................................................................................................................................................................ Plot Summaries .........58 The influence of Bollywood movies on cultural identity .....................................................................................................................................................43 V......39 Focus Groups ................................44 Constructing Identity ....................................................................................... Conclusion and Limitations ........ Interview Consent form ..................................................................64 VI....................................................................................................94 D......................................................................Texas Tech University...... 2009 In-depth interviews ..................... Focus group Consent form .......50 Institutions .................................................................................88 B...................................................................................................................................................................................41 Coding ................... Tirumala.................. Findings and Discussion .......................46 Family ....................55 Media ......................................................................................80 A.........
In particular. Aug. This thesis explores the role of Bollywood movies in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity among secondgeneration Indian Americans.” among second-generation Indian Americans. v . Tirumala. And. the study found that though social factors such as family and peer groups have played a dominant role in constructing the Indian identity.Texas Tech University. Bollywood movies not only act as a bridge between home and diaspora.” 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. Interestingly. 2009 Abstract Indian cinema has been one of the most dominant and distinguishing features of the subcontinent’s culture for the past sixty years. Lakshmi N. 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. they are bringing these cultural artifacts with them. this study seeks to demonstrate how Bollywood film viewing practices of the second-generation Indian Americans intersect to create a notion of “Indianness. but they help transmit the culture and traditions that play a crucial role in maintaining the “Indianness. Previous research suggests that the Indian Diaspora may use these types of media products as a form of cultural maintenance.
..72 vi ......... 2009 List of Tables 1..................................... Tirumala.........................................................................45 3....... Lakshmi N....... Demographics and movie watching frequency ......3 2..... Summary of research findings..Texas Tech University........................... Aug......................... Indian Film Industry vs Hollywood in 2008 .......................
Aug. 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. through which people are becoming aware of different cultures from all over the world. Lakshmi N. Mackay. and the connections that viewers make with the movies themes. Bollywood Movies and Identity In today’s world of global movement and cultural hybridity. In recent times. our personal identities are in constant flux. education. 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. and characters.Texas Tech University. Consequently films have become a major part of modern society. plots. and Negus. The circuit of culture suits the proposed study well because of the consumption of Bollywood movies by second-generation Indian Americans. identity. ‘What is my true “identity”?’ has become a fundamental and yet significant question in one’s life. Tirumala. So. and representation) are explored through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with secondgeneration Indian Americans. 2009 Chapter I Introduction Films are a common source of entertainment. Hall. Janes. using the circuit of culture (du Gay. a great deal has 1 . representations of the Indian culture in the movies. 1997). and information across the United States. The three moments from the circuit of culture (consumption.
internet and telephones) and because of the rapid way in which they move through daily life. 1990. Aug. and especially the phenomenal success of Hindi movies (also known as Bollywood) among the Indian diaspora (Dudrah. Electronic media have been the essential tools for the diaspora in re-rooting their identities (Appadurai. 2008. Lakshmi N. most commonly known as Bollywood (although Bollywood represents Hindi film 2 . 1998). before we look into the significance of Bollywood movies. diasporic communities are able to stay connected with their homeland and maintain their self-identity. electronic media provide diapsoric communities with resources for self-imagining that help maintain the identity” (Appadurai. 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.Texas Tech University. TV.4). However. The Indian cinema industry. preserving and maintaining one’s own culture and identity has become a serious challenge. However. 1996). Appadurai. While commenting on the influence of electronic media on the diapsoric community. With the increasing popularity of electronic media. 2006. Palmer. Uberoi. with technological advancements. in this globalized world. 1999). 1990. p. According to Basu (2004). Appadurai has argued that “because of its sheer multiplicity in which they appear (films. Tirumala. it is important to study the role of Bollywood movies in Indian diasporic identity construction. 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. Indian cinema has been one of the most dominant and distinguishing features of the subcontinent’s popular culture for the past sixty years.
Andhra Pradesh. the film business in India is decentralized (Srinivas. Indian Film Industry vs Hollywood in 2008 Indian Film Industry Films Produced* Tickets sold World Wide revenues** Average cost per film 1. and Kerala also produce films in regional languages (Booth. To satisfy the 14 million Indians who go to the cinema every day. Pricewaterhouse Coopers Ltd (FICCI-Pricewaterhouse. Tirumala. 1995). 2008) Unlike Hollywood.S $ 56 billion U.S $ 2.2 billion U. which only produces about half that number. produces Hindi-language films. 2008) provided the following figures and estimates.S $60 million *National Film Production 2008 ** Estimates 2009 (FICCI-Pricewaterhouse. which are popular throughout India and among expatriate Indians living abroad. Aug. is the world’s largest film industry in terms of the number of films produced. or ‘Bollywood’ as it is commonly called. 3 . Table 1. the Indian film industry produces more than 1000 films each year compared to Hollywood.Texas Tech University.S $ 3 million Hollywood 800 3 billion U. Lakshmi N. Though Bollywood is the best-known Indian film industry. Table 1 compared the size and global reach of the two most prolific film industries. individual states such as West Bengal. 2009 industry alone). 2002). 2006). though not for its financial returns (Dwyer. Karnataka. Tamil Nadu. Mumbai.100 4 billion U.
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
Lakshmi N. According to the Internet Movie 7 . and foreign locations made Bollywood movies a household name amongst diasporic communities (Kaur and Sinha. 2005). New Zealand.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. The era of globalization effectively placed Indian film industry on a global platform.Texas Tech University.). and satellite television have cultivated and increased number of fans in countries like Great Britain. the most common tool for a force of bonding through entertainment media would be “Hindi cinema. the Internet. As stated earlier. Thussu (2008) observed that the availability of these new delivery and distribution mechanisms have contributed to the global visibility of popular Indian cinema. 2009 among Asian communities in U.S (Indian American population. New media technologies like satellites. Finally.d. the United States. n. Great Britain. Bollywood exports play an important role in Indian film industry’s growing popularity overseas. This essentially popularized Bollywood movies in countries like the United States. Tirumala. Representation of the Indian diaspora. Dave (2007) observed that roughly half of Bollywood’s estimated $2. and Australia. Researchers like Kaur and Sinha (2005) suggested that DVD. the Internet and digital home video devices such as DVD’s have opened new distribution channels to bring Bollywood into the living rooms. Aug.” a phenomenon unique to the Indian diaspora community to stay connected to the homeland. and Australia.
video sales and the sale of movie soundtracks (Overdorf. as the $100 million accounts to a huge amount in Indian currency. Indian heritage and culture and Indian nationhood. Aug. The aforementioned reasons make Bollywood films a much sought after entertainment source for Indians living in India as well as abroad. Lakshmi N. Yash Raj Films.Texas Tech University. Dissanayake (2006) argued that the diaporic communities are becoming more interested in Bollywood films that deal with Indian history. it is a culture and a religion unto itself. 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. 2005). these revenues contribute significantly to drive Indian filmmaking to new heights in terms of quality. reported that Bollywood films in the United States earn approximately $100 million a year through theatre screenings. films from India do more business in the United States than films from any other country (Joseph. and innovative story lines (Bose. 2007). Although it seems a small number in comparison to Hollywood financial returns. cinematography. 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. one of India’s largest film production and distribution companies. As Chopra (2007) observed Bollywood is not just a style of filmmaking. Tirumala. 2006). With popular Indian television channels playing Bollywood movies at least once a day and the Internet providing various options to watch Bollywood movies. 8 . 2009 Database.
and body language with utmost sincerity. Dawson. living conditions and socio economic ties between home and Diaspora (Rao. demographic characteristics. Aug. to fill the gap in the diaporic identity literature. Punathambekar. many ardent Indian movie fans of Indian origin copy their favorite actor’s mannerisms. 1999). dress styles. Lakshmi N. have focused on Indian immigrants. I seek to demonstrate how Hindi film viewing practices in second-generation Indian Americans intersect to create a 9 . Most studies. For example. Bollywood films strongly influence dress codes. and rituals for both the educated person and a layman alike. which relates to a concept called fan culture (Srinivas. particularly in United States. 2005. In other words. 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. This suggests the emergence of a particular Bollywood culture in India. however.Texas Tech University. the current study investigates the identity construction process of second-generation Indian American students. 2009 Though some of the following will be discussed in greater detail in the next chapter. who were born and brought up in the United States. Considering the popularity of Bollywood movies amongst the Indian diaspora. Tirumala. and examines the role of Bollywood in maintaining their identities. which is now being spread by new media technologies even within the Indian diaspora. cultural adjustments patterns like changes in life styles. Juluri. 1998). 2007. 2005. In fact. it is important to touch base with concepts such as fan culture and Indianness. 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. Therefore. language.
243). Indianness is nothing but a “psycho-social product of colonialism as much as post colonialism” (p. sects and sub-sects. religions. However. the importance of 10 . 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. a notion of independent nation that brought the people together despite their diversity in many aspects. Aug.” Cohn (1972) defined Indianness or being Indian as something that is unique. 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. customs and traditions. 2006). a quality that makes quintessentially India.Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. traditions and value system (Bhat.” Before examining literature on cultural identity construction. 2009 notion of “Indianness. The Discovery of India. something that can be distinctly experienced. it is important to understand the concepts like “Indianness” and cultural identity. castes and sub-castes. Jawaharlal Nehru (1946) defined this quality as “unity in diversity. On Being “Indian” According to Bhat (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. described or measured. Some key elements of Indianness are language and regions. As Nehru (1946) stated. Tirumala.
are white-collar professionals such as engineers. 2003.S. and region define the identity of Indian diasporic communities. 2006). language and caste factors play a dominant role in the lives of U. As Singh (2003) points out that these very elements like religion. Because this study was limited to the United States. New Jersey. Texas. language. spreading across the globe in more than 130 countries (Bhuyan. and Illinois (How a burgeoning. apart from language and region.S. Aug. Many regional associations like TANA (Telugu Association of North America). ATA (American Telugu Association). doctors. Gujarat Samaj. Indians started migrating to United States only after the Immigration and Nationality Act was revoked in 1965. based Indians now numbering about three million according to the United States Census calculations and are most heavily concentrated in the states of California. 2006). it fits to discuss the Indian diaspora in the United States. 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. This suggests that religion is a significant aspect of the notion “Indianness”. New York. lawyers or businessman (Bhat. The Indian Diaspora Recent population estimates suggested that the Indian diaspora has reached 25 million. Lakshmi N. Bhat. Religion.Texas Tech University. 2006). along with other Indian Associations like Global Organization of People 11 . The majority of Indians who migrated to U. The reason behind such importance given to Hinduism is that many scholars believe Hinduism as an ethnic religion that has strong roots in India. 2006). Tirumala.
Texas Tech University. argued that mass media. Research scholars (Rao.147). Rao (2008). Lakshmi N. it is a part of the Indian diaspora that comes out every time they involve and interact with other ethnic groups. mobile phones and DVDs have helped this cause of connecting with the home culture. the Internet. the cultural 12 . as mentioned in this thesis. Tirumala. Thus. 2008. New communications technologies like satellite television. Aug. 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. frequently enables the notion of “Indianness” through its various programs. Cultural Identity Cultural identity can simply be defined as an individual’s way of identifying himself/herself with the culture. it is worth exploring the cultural identity construction process among second-generation Indian Americans and the role of Bollywood in maintaining these identities. As Bhat (2006) and Singh (2003) noted. while the notion of “Indianness” becomes significant in India only when it is challenged. etc. Bhat. 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. Thus. 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. films. whether it is a home culture or host culture. electronic media in particular.
This thesis investigated the role of Bollywood movies in second-generation Indian Americans via in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. To accomplish this.” Secondgeneration Indian Americans naturally fall under this scenario by constantly experiencing the dynamics of both the Indian as well as American cultures.S. they will report conflicting ideas. 2009 identity of Indian Americans. for example Indian Americans.Texas Tech University. In fact. culture and Indian culture. This study is primarily based on the second-generation Indian American undergraduate students from Texas Tech University and how they construct their cultural identity. Hence. and attitudes toward a particular cultural group. an individual’s identity is maintained through social interactions with others as well as with media. Tirumala. Lee (2006) observed that when individuals with minority status. the 13 . Most importantly. especially the second-generation Indian Americans. Identifying with a particular culture makes people feel they belong and gives them a sense of security. Aug. experience multiple cultures and are trapped by the dynamics of these cultures. 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. beliefs. Cultural identity is also an important contributor to a people’s wellbeing. Lakshmi N. 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. 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.
Lakshmi N. 2009 study examined the role of Bollywood movies using three moments (consumption. and representation) of circuit of culture. identity. Aug.Texas Tech University. 14 . Tirumala.
2007). 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. It brought revolutionary changes in the whole set up of India’s film industry (Bose.Texas Tech University. 2006). However. which led to an increase in number of films being 15 . was produced by the Imperial film company and directed by Irani in 1931. with the arrival of talkies in the early 1930s. Since that time cinema has been successfully engaged in defining a cultural identity that was Indian both in its shape and form (Rao. Alam Ara. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. which signified the birth of the Indian film industry. The 1930s witnessed the arrival of many new production companies and filmmakers from all over the country. However. The first Indian talkie. 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. Raja Harishchandra (1913). 2006). The first exposure to motion pictures for India was in the year 1896. almost 85 percent of movies shown in India were American. when Lumiere Brothers’ Cinematographe unveiled six soundless short films in Bombay (Bose. Aug. 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. 1996). Due to the phenomenal expansion of Hollywood industry and lack of better Indian filmmakers.
Aug. however. Films helped the cause by uniting Indians and getting them to think and act as citizens of a sovereign nation. The late 1930s and early 1940s were recognized as the decade of social protests in the history of Indian cinema. 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. Telugu. 58). Tamil. which helped transform Indian movies into a commodity in later years. and several other dialects around the time. have evolved in the cinematic imagination” (p. The Indian film industry. Indian film producers and directors were able to focus on scripts and dialogues that pertained to the Indian society and culture. had fallen within the purview of the law during the late 1930s. From these tensions has emerged a unique ideology called Indian identity. With the advent of sound. Regional issues and a desire to see and hear one’s own language had spurred new regional film industries producing Bengali.Texas Tech University. with the British withdrawal from India in 1947. This is about the time when song and dance sequences were introduced in Indian films that gave the films unique and aesthetic look. Kannada. 1980). Lakshmi N. westernization and indigeneity. Rao (2007) noted that it was the period when “a tension between modernity and tradition. an 16 . Tirumala. which gave a little chance to the filmmakers to fight against the British colonialism. Indian cinema finally emerged as an undisputed vehicle for national unity focusing heavily on reality and aesthetics (Kalkar. Three major studios during this period made some serious but entertaining films for all social classes of the Indian audience. The Indian audiences accepted the innovative idea with great enthusiasm. 2009 made. However.
Texas Tech University. Pyaasa (1957). Among the films. Bimal Roy. which appealed to the underprivileged sections of society (Iordanova. 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. The poor. 2007). The notable turning point. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. which positioned Indian film on the world film platform. It was a strategy through which Hindi 17 . directors like Raj Kapoor. 2007). political and economic turmoil during 1970s and early 1980s saw Indian cinema return to the concept of social concerns. however. Aug. angry. Guru Dutt and Mehboob Khan made films with social messages such as Do Bigha Zamin (1953). and Mother India (1957) that were focused on underprivileged populations and inequities in Indian society (Jaikumar. 2009 identity that is associated with family. and Rajesh Khanna. religion and moral values – important characteristics that movies frequently focused upon. The male protagonist was portrayed as a cynical and rebellious worker who was often seen fighting rich businesses and corrupt politicians (Rao. young man was the primary audience of these films. However. Bollywood cinema shifted its social concerns towards romantic genres. Mehnoob Khan’s Mother India was the first Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar (Chopra. The tremendous success of Zanjeer (1973) introduced the figure of “angry young man” to the Indian screen. 2003). During the late 1960s. 2006). introducing new film stars like Shammi Kapoor. arrived in 1955 with the introduction of Satyajit Ray and his classic Pather Panchali. Throughout the late 1950s.
With the advent of cable and satellite television. Tirumala. Indian filmmakers began operating in a new media landscape. interests and influences the audiences to desire what it produces. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the revival of the musical love stories in Hindi cinema. As discussed 18 . both men and women. 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. Though the Bollywood industry specializes in understanding what the audience wants. Lakshmi N. 2009 films have ensured that viewer. popular culture not only mirrors society. 1975).” and stated that Bollywood became a part of the culture industry. Aug. 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. it succumbs to the elite whims. but also shapes the society through the process of standardization and commodification through films. 2003). where easy access to Bollywood and Hollywood films were made available to viewers at home. 1975). The culture industry claims to serve the needs of the consumers for entertainment. but hides the way it regulate these needs and manipulates the consumers to desire what it produces (Adorno. According to this theory. Rajadhyaksha (2003) termed this shift as “Bollywoodization of the Indian cinema. more often than not. a phenomenon coined by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer (1976). identified with the working and lower middle class populations. radio and magazines (Adorno.Texas Tech University.
Baym and Punathambekar (2007) observed that “fandom” is a significant element of Indian film culture. Moviegoers in India take pride in associating themselves with an actor or actress and diligently follow their mannerisms (Srinivas. Swades (2004).. Lakshmi N. It might be best seen as a more diffuse cultural conglomeration involving a range of distribution and consumption activities from websites to music cassettes. from cable to radio. Bollywood as a cultural industry influences dress codes. Tirumala. In the past decade. Given the immense popularity of Indian film stars and the large number of fan communities that have emerged over the years. hair styles. overseas distribution rights for a big budget movie have doubled in price than that in the Indian market (Jaikumar. etc. that they see in Indian movies. 19 . Dil Chahta Hi (2003) (see Appendix A for some of the plot summaries) achieved success both in the domestic and overseas market alike. 2003). Television and music rights generated more revenues than the entire movie production cost. Dhoom (2004). from New Delhi to New York” (p. Accordingly. Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham (2001).27). His argument about Bollywood industry was in line with the cultural industry concept of commodification. 2002). “Bollywood is not the Indian film industry or not the film industry alone. 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. some of the most popular films such as Don (2006) Rang De Basanti (2005). 2009 earlier.Texas Tech University. Black (2004). Rajadhyaksha (2003) further argued. it is not surprising to see that the audience desires to imitate dress codes. Kaho Na Pyar Hai (2000). Aug. hairstyles and even mannerisms.
and U. and Danny Boyel’s Slum Dog Millionaire (2008) achieved tremendous success in the Indian diaspora. foreign locations. Lakshmi N. both directed by Mira Nair. Movies such as Monsoon Wedding (2001).K. all these films featured westernized themes. 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. while localizing and Indianizing them can best be labeled as “glocalization” (Ganti. The period between 2001 and 2008 is very significant with the exposure of South Asian popular culture reaching an all time high. During this period. Tirumala. opened to sold-out crowds in London. 2009 Interestingly. Bollywood & Diaspora Following is a brief description of Bollywood’s presence in a few important regions of the world: 20 . The Name Sake (2006).Texas Tech University.S. particularly in U. Bombay Dreams. the big budget musical drama. Athique (2005) noted that it is surprising to see that the Bombay cinema has not generated much interest among scholars of cultural studies. These innovative strategies adopted by filmmakers by taking global formats and visual styles. 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 considerable use of English language in the dialogues. These techniques demonstrated a trend toward reaching a global audience as opposed to the industry’s earlier objective of resisting western influence. Aug. 2002).
a few Bollywood films like Tajmahal (2005) were legally released in Pakistan. Tirumala. Bollywood is not so popular in this part of the world compared to Oceania.d. it has made a slow but steady progress over the years (Irodanova. Although Pakistan’s government banned Indian films. Lakshmi N. However. Bollywood films are particularly popular in the former Soviet Union.). Bollywood movies are also popular in other South Asian countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka due to their proximity with the Indian subcontinent. for the most part. n.K.S. According to Larkin (1997). Aug. the U. because most of the people from these countries speak/understand Hindi (Kaur and Sinha. Iordanova (2006) noted that Bollywood movies are dubbed to Russian and shown in prominent theatres. Africa and Russia Bollywood is now being recognized and achieving box office success in some parts of Africa such as Nigeria. Bollywood movies are watched on cable and DVDs. 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. 2005). 21 .Texas Tech University. Morocco and South Africa because of its increasing Indian diaspora. and the U. 2006).. Pakistan and Bangladesh arguably enjoy an upper hand in the consumption of Bollywood movies. Also Afghanistan. Israel and Arab countries have been witnessing a gradual increase in popularity for Bollywood films since 2001 (Mishra. 2009 Asia Among Asian countries. Although.
Bend it Like Beckham (2002). 2006). Aug. Bollywood films do exceptionally well in United Kingdom (Sheth. the Yash Raj film Salaam Namaste (2005) was one of the first Indian films to be shot entirely in Australia. With the growing Indian diaspora. Lakshmi N. 22 . Indian filmmakers have been attracted to the country’s diverse locations and rich landscapes to film significant number of song and dance sequences (Shah. Tirumala. 2005). United Kingdom and Europe As per industry sources. Many films such as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001).Texas Tech University. especially for song and dance sequences. Dawson observed that the Bollywood is also popular in Western Europe where India’s mega film industry has carved an identity for itself. thanks to its ever-increasing Indian population (Kaur and Sinha. For example. Australia is one of the few countries where there is a large Indian diaspora. 2006). Australia has been providing a backdrop for a number of Bollywood films. Since 1997. 2005). This trend was followed by most recent movies like Heyy Babyy and Chak de India (2007). 2009 Oceania Bollywood ranks second only to Hollywood in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. 2005). and Bride and Prejudice (2005) have been filmed entirely in United Kingdom. Two television channels—RTL II (German) and Rai Uno (Italian)—have recently started to broadcast Indian movies every week (Sheth. 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.
Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. Bollywood started entering into American living rooms through “Bollywood On Demand” provided by Comcast Corporation. and Chocolate (2005) were shot in United States. video sales and the sale of audio tracks from the movies (Overdorf. With ever growing numbers of South Asians immigrating to the United States. Indian filmmakers have set their sights on the United States when it comes to locations for filming significant scenes and song and dance sequences. 2007). Some of the more recent music-oriented films have 23 . With the Indian movie industry gaining popularity in the West. During the past 10 years. video rental retailers such as Netflix are offering more Bollywood movies through their online stores. As mentioned in the previous chapter. Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). 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. Also. 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. A few recent prominent films like Kaante (2002). many Bollywood filmmakers have been shooting significant number of scenes in America. 2007). Yash Raj Films. make an average of $100 million a year through theatre screenings. Tirumala. 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. Washington D. 2005).S.C.. the largest cable television provider in the United States (Sikka. Aug. reported that Bollywood films in the U.
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. Lakshmi N. Aug.Texas Tech University. 2009 influenced the first Bollywood musical. raise of multiplexes. There is no question that the Indian movie industry has experienced exceptional growth in the number of films produced. the following chapter examines the cultural identity in terms of cultural studies. Bombay Dreams. the generation of revenues through movie ticket sales. especially in the United States. Tirumala. 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. has provided an opportunity to explore issues related to the creation and maintenance of cultural identity. Specifically. 24 . to hit Broadway during 20042005 season.
belief systems. located. Johnson (1987) explained cultural studies with three main characteristics: culture is associated with social relations. 67). 2009 Chapter III Theoretical Framework Cultural Studies Cultural studies combine sociology. and cultural anthropology to explore cultural phenomena in industrial societies. the ideal in which culture is the body of intellectual and imaginative work. 41). law. Additionally. art. mass media play a significant role in representing and even projecting a society’s culture.Texas Tech University. human thought and experience are variously recorded. which expresses certain meanings and values not only in art and learning but also in institutions and ordinary behavior (p. Williams (1961) conceptualized the culture “as a whole way of life” (p. and it display social disparity. it involves power structures. Taylor (1874) defined culture as “it is that complex whole which includes knowledge. first. in today’s global world. 50). …Culture is a description of a particular way of life. Aug. 25 . custom. …Second …is the social definition of culture. he positioned the culture in two general categories: There is. and in situ. 41). Culture represents certain meanings and values of a society. According to Stuart Hall (1997). He maintained that the way to understand culture as “a whole. and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (p. morals. in their material context” (p. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. Cultural studies are the way to analyze and understand the systems and values of our daily lives. film/video studies.
du Gay et al. Aug. 2009 Hall (1997) observed that the images and the values of a society would be provided by mass media. No matter what the audience perceives about the content of mass media. and regulation (du Gay et al.. Hall (1996) explained that the media play an important role in the formation of the things that they reflect. 1997). Bollywood movies should provide links to the Indian culture. The Circuit of Culture Circuit of culture is a model that offers a holistic view of the process of communication. consciously or unconsciously. consumption. a cultural studies framework that can be used to explore and examine the process of cultural identification. identity. cultural studies focus on how individuals understand their culture through mass media. Hall (1982) described the role of media in the society as functional. Hall (1997) suggested that the audience could learn other cultural values through media and so they might recognize that they live in different cultures. One explanation for this process is through the Circuit of Culture. one needs to look at its representation.Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. 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. production. it does not create new culture or a social phenomenon but it repackages and reforms cultural practices. suggested that combining these five elements completes a circuit and to 26 . However. social ideology is always present in culture. In short. Accordingly. Moreover. Tirumala. Accordingly. especially electronic media. It suggests that to study a cultural text or artifact. For the Indian diaspora in the United States.
As indicated above. 2009 examine or analyze how cultural processes are accomplished in our daily lives. visuals and language play a predominant role in the process of representation. Aug.play a significant role in how we send and receive messages. Likewise. 1997). production. the meaning of any cultural text or artifact can be examined and understood from these five interdependent elements of the circuit of culture. 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. As Hall (1997) suggested cultural meaning is socially constructed through systems of symbolic representations. like Hall (2005) suggested. the circuit examines how people find similarities with themselves and messages encoded during the production. Consumption deals with how these messages are decoded and the meaning that audiences make of them. Lakshmi N. the circuit examines how cultural messages affect consumers in their daily lives. consumption. and regulation -. 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. this process helps us to understand the complexity of communication. 27 . The moments of the circuit -. 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. one must take this circuit into consideration if it is to be studied adequately (du Gay et al. the communication process is much more than sending a message from point A to B. So.representation. Tirumala. identity. On the final moment of Regulation. At the moment of identity.Texas Tech University..
Aug. 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. 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. racial and cultural 28 . 1996). according to Johnson (2000). 2004). Tirumala. Johnson. (1997) observed that people consume products to project certain cultural identities that they want others to recognize they possess. the current study attempted to examine whether consumption of Bollywood movies helps second-generation Indian Americans understand and maintain their cultural identity among. 2000). We may infer that diaspora identities have always been unstable because of their constant exposure to home and host culture influences. 2009 du Gay et al. The cultural process engaged by Indian American adults was examined on the basis of circuit of culture framework. 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. mainly focusing on the elements of representation. identity and consumption.Texas Tech University. Jung and Lee (2004) observed that the definitions provided by past researchers with respect to ethnic. and cultural identity (as referred in Jung and Lee. ethnic. Based on this statement. 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. Lakshmi N. 2000. However.
It is not at all surprising considering the number of ethnicities and cultures in U. Interacting with family and friends on a daily basis appeared to help identify and maintain the home culture. Aug. However. Tirumala. Hall (1997) clearly emphasized that the cultural elements like family and peer groups play a significant role in the formation of individual’s identity. 29 . and most importantly through consumption of ethnic food and media. It is safe to assume that ethnic groups express their identity by choosing ethnic symbols such as ethnic clothes. Lakshmi N. it only make things complicated and difficult to draw out a universal definition.82). today. Language and religious customs play a crucial role in bringing together people who share similar cultural traits and form a sub-cultural group. 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.Texas Tech University. 179). ethnic festivals.S. ethnic language. 2009 identities are similar. 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. Sreberny (2000) noted “approaches to ethnicity usually focus on the common bonds of language. it is important to note that ethnic groups combine these with host culture elements to construct a third identity such as Indian American. 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.
cultural identity is defined as a level of ethnic identification. Thus. Lakshmi N. 2004). He suggested that there is a difference between interacting with in-group members and outgroup members. cultural identity is defined. For the purpose of this research. Cultural identity formation is a complicated process. 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. outgroup members constantly remind him or her of in-group identity. to closely identify 30 . Aug. For example.Texas Tech University. communicating with in-group and out-group members play an influential role in identifying with an individual’s ethnic culture (Durham. 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. Indian American students in this case. Tirumala. They also argued that individuals positively differentiate their in-group from out-group on specific identity and value dimensions. 2009 Furthermore. 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. produced and maintained through various social interactions inside and outside ethnic communities. which allows ethnic group members. Chances are that new media technologies create ample opportunities for minority communities to find a new sense of connection and maintain their identities. Examining the role of intergroup behavior. While in-group members often help individual maintain the culture. consumption of ethnic news and entertainment through satellite channels and DVDs could serve to maintain the culture and traditions of ethnic minorities.
Lakshmi N. She discovered that the majority of the participants from the study identified 31 . 2004. none of the past studies focused particularly on Indian Americans. the majority of the literature was drawn from either Asian American or Asian Britain identity construction studies. Although the Asian American group does consists of Indian Americans. it reflects the collectivistic approach of Asian culture to the individualistic orientation of Western culture.Texas Tech University. which facilitate the cultural contacts by erasing geographical boundaries and thereby influencing ethnic group’s identity construction and maintenance. This reflects the importance of family togetherness to Asian culture in comparison to the individualistic approach of Western cultures. Tirumala. In a study of ethnic identity formation process among second-generation KoreanAmericans. The current research highlights the role of Bollywood movies. and faith in religion. Prior studies found that the cultural identity of Asian Americans to be largely influenced by family and social relationships (see Jung and Lee. age hierarchy. Durham. 2004). Cultural Identity of Asian Americans As there is an absence of literature about second-generation Indian Americans and their cultural identity process. In other words. associated with strict parenting style. 2009 themselves with their cultural and traditional origins. was a strong force behind the identity negotiation process. Jo (2000) found that Korean 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.
and behaviors of many Asian societies that helped reinforce cultural values. The above studies reemphasize the fact that family and religion play a dominant role in constructing and maintaining the cultural identification. attending language classes. which suggested that the second-generation Korean Americans were strongly connected to the Korean culture. Hennick. Tirumala. a majority of the girls admitted that their level of Indianness differs from that of their parents. Lakshmi N. who surveyed Korean American students. Jung and Lee (2004). Diamond. 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. Aug. and Cooper (1999) posited that the cultural identity of Asian teenage girls in Britain depended on their social activities and interactions. found that external forces such as the relationship with parents. attitudes. peer group interactions and religious institutions strongly motivate the students ethnic identification process. In his study of South Asian immigrant girls and diaspora identity. 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. many teenagers in this study opined that Asian films mirrored the true culture and traditional aspects. 2009 themselves as Korean or Korean American.Texas Tech University. This suggested that the level of cultural identity diminishes from generation to generation in the Indian diaspora. Many teenagers in the study reported that mixing with Asian friends. However. Interestingly. All the participants in this study reported an affinity 32 . and watching Asian films helped them stay connected to the home culture.
2009 towards their people of similar ethnic background. This suggested that apart from family and religious institutions. peer group interaction and entertainment industry also play a crucial role in defining one’s ethnic identity.Texas Tech University. and satellite television to create new social realities and cultural identities within the Korean diaspora community context. This supports Hall’s (1997) observation that mass media and communication technologies play a crucial role in enhancing the process of identity formation. and religious institutions in constructing and maintaining the identity. In their aforementioned ethnographic study on Korean American students.K found that joint viewing of ethnic television and films are extremely important in the construction of cultural 33 . Internet. Thompson’s (2002) study of media use and diaspora identity among immigrants and their children in the U. Lakshmi N. peer group interactions. Aug. Tirumala. Drawing the basis from the above research works. it was important to look at the past research studies that investigated the role of media. The study also revealed that satellite television acted as a good education tool for children to learn Korean language and culture. Because the current study examined the role of Bollywood movies. 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. Jung and Lee (2004) found that young Korean Americans most often rely on the distance shrinking communication technologies such as mobile phones. the current study seek to understand the role of family. Mass media has been used as a useful communication tool for cultural identity construction and maintenance among first generation immigrants and their children.
Interestingly. Gillespie (1989) examined the role of the video recorder in the construction of ethnic identity among Indians in England. The Internet also began to play a significant role in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity of people living in ethnic diasporas. Findings from this study suggested that besides family and peer group interactions. attitudes. electronic media played an important role in constructing and reinforcing the identity.Texas Tech University. whereas second-generation children resisted the Indian traditions and customs that were shown in films. Lakshmi N. Gillespie observed that the parents considered Indian films to be useful and informative agents for constructing cultural identity of their children. Tirumala. Aug. and belief system in their children apart from teaching the Indian language. The majority of the parents used Indian films to cultivate certain traditional cultural values. This is an ample indication of Internets role in shaping and reinforcing cultural 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. 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 .com helped by integrating all the Chinese students and scholars in the United Sates. 2009 identity. Melkote and Liu (2000) found that Chinese ethnic Internet sites like tudou. While looking specifically at Bollywood movies and identity construction. whereas children felt little connection to the films. 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.
Though this study did not focus on immigrant identity. in-group and out-group interactions. Internet. Tirumala. 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 . Participants from the study also stated that the Hindi film music gave them an opportunity to stay close to the ethnic culture. 2009 Bollywood narratives. The variables that were derived out of the previous research are: family. Although the past research studies looked at the role of all the abovementioned variables in identity construction. television. and films. 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. Aug. Lakshmi N. In summary. the movies have ignored the preferences of non-elite audiences. radio. 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.Texas Tech University. Dawson’s (2005) study of Hindi film music and the negotiation of identity among British-Asian youths resulted in positive responses from the audience. Therefore. and mass media such as print. they have not explored the role of Bollywood movies in the identity construction of second-generation Indian Americans. He reasoned that while Bollywood industry has been veering towards a Western style catering to the needs of elite Indians and Indian Diasporia community. religious institutions.
Lakshmi N. 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. Aug.
Lakshmi N. Tirumala. qualitative research is defined as… “a situated activity that located the observer in the world. interviews. 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 .Texas Tech University. 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. i. Aug. including field notes. recordings. material practices that make the world visible. They turn the world into a series of representations. It consists of a set of interpretive. Qualitative research According to Denzin and Lincoln (2005). 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. and memos to the self” (p. 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.e. These practices transform the world. 3). photographs.
2009 (Denizen and Lincoln. Lakshmi N. d. Subjectivity raises the issue of reliability and validity of the approach. (Key. Weinreich. 1997). It is an in-depth examination of a phenomenon. It explore new areas of research. 1996). Texas used Bollywood movies in constructing and maintaining their identity. It examines questions that can otherwise be impossible to answer with quantitative methods. and e. The following is a detailed description of each method that was used in this study. It is impossible to replicate. c. Some advantages of qualitative research are: a. 2005. It is not limited to rigidly defined variables. b. b. and d. While on the flip side.Texas Tech University. Comprehensive data gathering limits scope. c. This study used two of the qualitative methods to examine and analyze the identity construction process among second-generation Indian Americans. Specifically the study examined how Indian American students at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. It uses subjective information. Researcher bias is unavoidable. 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. 38 . Tirumala. Aug. a.
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. It is prone to bias. Bearing the merits and drawbacks in mind. Aug. 2006). Lakshmi N. 2009 In-depth interviews Fontana and Frey (2005) observed that in-depth interviewing is a good way to understand people and their attitudes. from conducting interviews to transcribing and analyzing the responses c. there are also a few disadvantages to this technique: a. Tirumala. Because of the small sample size. most of which are unsuitable to address in a group format. Interviewer or interview responses may be biased in order to prove an idea or a situation is working. Some of the merits of indepth interview technique are a. Simply put.Texas Tech University. This technique is a very time consuming process. 2006). In-depth interviews are ideal for investigating personal. this research study adopted Kvale’s (1996) seven stages of the interview process as a guide: 39 . In-depth interviews provide detailed information on a particular program or idea. Every effort should be made to conduct interviews with minimal bias b. generalization cannot be made (Boyce and Neale. b. People may feel more comfortable to have a conversation and share their views in person compared to filling out a survey However. or confidential information.
Interviewing – Interviews are conducted at this stage. Designing – The interview is designed to achieve the objective of the study. The researcher should keep in mind what he or she wants from the interview. between February 15. Analyzing – Researcher decides the proper method for analysis. 40 . All interviews lasted about an hour to hour and half. Aug. 2. 1996). The data obtained through these interviews were then transcribed for analysis as soon as possible after each interview was conducted. 2009 1. Thematizing – This is the primary stage of the interview. requesting participation in the study. 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. 4.Texas Tech University. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. reliability. The main objective for the interview should be clarified before the interview. Verifying – Verify the generalizability. 2008. 5. 2008 and March 15. a recognized student organization at Texas Tech University. 7. A total of eight second-generation Indian American students were interviewed in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. 3. Reporting – Discuss the findings from the study and explain how those results follow scientific criteria and the ethical aspects (Kvale. were digitally recorded and the respondent’s names were changed to conceal the participants’ identity. 6. Transcribing – The data obtained through interviews are transcribed for analyzing the data. All individuals were initially contacted by sending personal emails to the members of South Asian Students Association (SASA).
2009 These transcriptions were typed word-for-word into Microsoft Word. 1988). experiences. Group interviews are therefore conducted to gather individuals’ opinions. Aug. 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. qualitative research enables researchers to examine individual motivations. Lakshmi N. (1995) suggested the following advantages and limitations of using focus groups are: a. The focus group method was the second qualitative technique that was used for this study. These transcriptions were read many times to draw patterns and common themes during the analysis stage. It provides data more quickly and at lower cost than other methods 41 . Tirumala. knowledge. Marczac and Seawell. and attitudes towards a topic. Focus Groups As stated earlier. A focus group typically consists of 7-10 people who share certain characteristics that relate to the topic of the discussion (Krueger. People naturally interact and are influenced by others in a group environment b. A careful and systematic analysis of the discussion provides insight as to how an idea or a situation is perceived by the group. which produce detailed information that otherwise cannot be produced. 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.Texas Tech University.
Considering the merits and challenges of focus group. Conceptualization: Determine the purpose of the study and whom to study 2. Interview: Questions should be carefully planned but appear spontaneous during the focus group discussion. Aug. 3. Analysis: The process of analyzing and reporting must be systematic and descriptive (Krueger. A total of eight second-generation Indian American students agreed to participate in a focus group 42 . The interview should always include less than ten questions. Lakshmi N.phase process as a guide to conduct focus groups: 1. individuals for the focus group session were contacted initially by sending personal emails to the members of South Asian Students Association (SASA). Tirumala. this study employed Krueger’s (1988) three. results cannot be generalized d. Researchers’ have less control over the group in general b. focus group has its own limitations: a. requesting to participate in the study. Results are easy to understand and are accessible to everyone As with any research technique.Texas Tech University. Results may be biased by the presence of a dominated member (Marczac and Seawell. 1995). Produces relatively chaotic data making analysis more difficult c. As in the case with in-depth interviews. Because of its small sample size. Focus groups are comparatively easy to conduct d. 1998). 2009 c. Moderator may intentionally or unintentionally bias results by providing cues about desired responses e.
the transcriptions from focus group were read many times to draw patterns and common themes during the analysis stage. they were read and re-read searching for common themes and patterns. The focus group session lasted for an hour and was video recorded. I used a new color to highlight it within the transcriptions. As in the case with in-depth interviews. Lakshmi N. Focus group discussions were transcribed word-for-word into Microsoft Word. 2009 session at the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University in the second week of April 2008. 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. As I read and read re-read the transcriptions from my interviews and focus group session. I coded the data by organizing and categorizing the emerging themes using highlighters. For each new theme that emerged. Tirumala. Aug. All the respondents’ names were changed to conceal the participants’ identity and the data thus obtained was transcribed immediately after the focus group session.Texas Tech University. Coding Once the transcriptions from both the in-depth interviews and focus groups were typed completed. 43 .
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. 3. the circuit of culture and specifically looked at the moments of representation. (1997) framework.Texas Tech University. 44 . the analysis of this study adopted du Gay et al. excluding Bollywood. And finally. Lakshmi N. The role of media.” The three main areas that were addressed in this research study are: 1. Tirumala. to examine the identity construction process of second-generation Indian Americans and the role played by Bollywood movies in creating the notion of “Indianness. As suggested earlier. the roles of Bollywood movies in constructing and maintaining this identity. 2. The themes that emerged during the reading are discussed below through the analysis of the interviews and focus group data. each interview and focus group session were transcribed and read multiple times searching for common themes and patterns across the data. Factors influencing second-generation Indian Americans’ identity construction. and consumption. As discussed in the previous chapter. in this identity construction. These areas were investigated using in-depth interviews and a focus group session with second-generation Indian American students. identity. Aug.
Lakshmi N. All the names were changed to conceal the participant’s identity and they were assigned with a pseudonym: Table 2. 2009 While exploring general media habits and Bollywood viewing habits in particular.Texas Tech University. Aug. Tirumala. 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 . most of the respondents claimed that they watch at least one Bollywood movie a week. The information included in Table 2 outlined the basic demographics of the participants and their reported Bollywood movie viewing frequency. Only one respondent said that he would typically watch once in two weeks.
S.Texas Tech University. 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. I have all the cultural similarities. 22) said the following: 46 . same religious views and attitudes. Puja (female. Aug. they still identify with their ethnic roots and keep the “Indianness” alive. Rahul (male. the average age of the participants was 21 and on an average they watched at least one Bollywood movie 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. 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. All the interviewees associated the Indian culture with family togetherness. religion. The following section examined what being an “Indian” meant to secondgeneration Indian American Students in Texas Tech University. festivities and weddings. This suggested that although all participants were born and brought up in the U. Lakshmi N. Constructing Identity All research participants were self-identified as either Indian American or Indian. 2009 According to the basic demographics included in Table 2. All of them visited India at least once and learned about Indian traditions and culture. but not American. Asked why it is important to maintain the culture. Asked what it means to be an Indian. Tirumala.
a majority of the focus group respondents expressed their desire to marry an Indian guy or a girl. She observed “interacting with out-group members constantly reminds me of being an Indian. Lakshmi N. 25) remembered discovering her identity as Indian through her interactions with other ethnic group members. another interview participant Rupa (female. 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. Apart from religion and family togetherness. 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. The research shows that ethnic distinction plays a critical role in constructing Indian identity among Indian American students. Tirumala.” This response suggested that though Rupa was born and brought up in 47 . 22). For example. Talking about the marriage system. which suggested that these participants not only maintain the cultural identity but also want to pass it on to future generations. All focus group respondents also shared similar views on the importance of maintaining the culture. and these comments clearly reveal that most of the secondgeneration Indian American participants try to stay connected with their home culture and traditional values. since nobody really recognizes me as an American. Gowri (female. Aug. I know that I want my children to be Indian and want them to know values and beliefs that I have been raised with.Texas Tech University.
which constantly reminds me of my ethnic background.Texas Tech University. Tirumala. who are frequently and pejoratively identified as ABCD’s (American Born Confused Desi) by Indian media 48 . Lakshmi N. Aug. despite their being born in America and fluent in English. While there is a possibility that the race of these respondents may also be a factor for not being accepted as Americans. 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. most of the Indian American students.” Having born and brought up in America. there is no evidence to support this assumption. On the other hand. Sandeep actively participates in SASA and try to create awareness about the Indian culture on campus. 22). 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. do not veer away from Indian culture due to their interactions with peer group members and taking part in Indian cultural events. 2009 America and speaks English like any other American she will never be accepted as an American because of her ethnic background. 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. Accordingly. Sandeep (male. an interesting discussion emerged from the focus group session that focused on the fact that few Indian American students. as the researcher did not explore in this area.
responded as follows: Some just ignore the whole fact that they are Indian. 23) a focus group participant. or interact with us and they lose everything and start acting as Americans. 49 . Lakshmi N. While none of the respondents of both interviews and focus groups identified themselves as ABCDs. It’s because their parents do not talk about the importance of culture. assimilate toward American culture and do not like to identify themselves with Indian roots. 2009 and peer groups.Texas Tech University. so as soon as they leave from home they don’t get involved in any Indian events. Tirumala. 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. When asked for the reason. A focus group respondent Hritik (male. Aug. 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. 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. they will talk about how they are American more than an Indian because they do not learn anything about cultural background or traditions. Deepa (female.
Tirumala. 2009 Now that we have looked at participant’s observations on the notion of “Indianness. three themes including family. Each of these factors is discussed at length in the following sub sections. Family Interviews from this study indicated that the family plays a significant role in the cultural identity formation among second-generation Indian Americans. As Kelly (1996) and Jung and Lee (2004) pointed out. and friends emerged out of the interviews and focus group sessions. During the examination of the first research question. institutions. Aug. Following is the synthesis of these three themes. and media. 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. 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.Texas Tech University. Lakshmi N. institutions.” it is important to learn how it is constructed and maintained by secondgeneration Indian Americans. 22) said the following: 50 . The in-depth interviews and focus group suggests that identity construction process among second-generation Indian Americans is based on four major factors. friends. 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. The four major factors are family. Gowri (female.
It suggested that family members do things in certain way that goes along with culture and tradition. he would ask his parents about the meaning of phrases he could not understand. 2009 I thank my family for teaching me how to speak in Hindi when I was young. And whenever I go home me and my family goes to an Indian restaurant and then may be watch Indian movies. Aug. 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. she’s always like why don’t you tell me in Hindi/Gujarathi. you know she does not want me to lose the language. 51 . 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. Likewise Rahul (male. praying once a day and eating Indian food are few things that second-generation Indian Americans learned from their families. 23) speaks to his mom and dad in Gujarathi at home. Whenever I ask my mom something. The majority of the focus group participants also maintained that just being around family members reminds them of Indian culture and traditions. 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. Tirumala. Deepa (female. Whenever they watch Indian programs like television soap operas or movies. Also cultural aspects like respect for elders. Lakshmi N. So.Texas Tech University.
22). Vijay (male. 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. played Indian music all the time in cars when we were driving somewhere and they took us to festivals. 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. an interview participant said the following: My parents took me to temple. Aug. institutions also played a major role in constructing and maintaining the identity among these students. they rented Bollywood movies to watch with us. Thus family clearly plays a predominant role in constructing the identity in second-generation Indian American students. 2009 All participants from both the interviews and focus groups maintained that family was the most influential factor in constructing and maintaining identity. As seen earlier in this chapter.Texas Tech University. 52 . To sum up. It is observed that participants give priority to their parents and seek their acceptance before taking any important decisions. Tirumala. Lakshmi N. The following are the ideas and views on the role of institution in maintaining the cultural identity. 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.
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.Texas Tech University. I think these activities contribute a lot in preserving our culture and identity. Jung and Lee (2004) emphasized that the ethnic church played a crucial role in constructing a social network among Korean Americans. Lakshmi N. Similarly. Aug. 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. 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. 24). This is a very interesting scenario because many people living in India do not seem to give importance to ethnic wear while second53 . 2009 Institutions The interview participants from this study indicated that in addition to the family and language. who was the vice president of South Asian Students Association. which teach you about moral values and traditions. Sree (male. religious institutions like temples and religious classes play an important role in identity formation of the second-generation Indian Americans. Tirumala. The majority of the interview participants also observed that they pray every day and wear ethnic clothes to traditional events. said the following: When I was growing up. 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.
Tirumala. This factor enables them to keep in tune with their religion and stay connected with their culture and identity. Likewise. But my Indian cousins say they do not wear traditional clothes often. And if I go to traditional events like garbha or something I feel awkward if I don’t wear Indian clothes. We celebrate all Indian festivals and go to temple regularly. it was only in the later stage that they realized the value of religion and importance of maintaining it.Texas Tech University. 2009 generation Indian Americans emphasize it as a symbol for their identity. They maintained that though they never took it seriously and understood the importance behind knowing about one’s religion and traditions initially. participants from the focus group observed that religious classes played an important role in learning about values and customs. 21) said the following: We are strong in maintaining the religious traditions. Sree (male. Kajol (female. All participants expressed pride in learning and maintaining the religious faith and keeping in touch with their inner self. 24) said the following: 54 . 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. Lakshmi N. Aug. 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. 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.
Tirumala. They taught a lot about Indian values and traditions. I realized the importance of maintaining the religious values because it is your identity. Organizations such as South Asian Students Association (SASA). Lakshmi N. 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. Aug. Indian Students Association (ISA) also played an important role in preserving and maintaining the culture and identity.Texas Tech University. 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. 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. 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. But after I grew up and started going to geetha classes. 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. They talked about Hinduism and what you are supposed to do and it helped some to know about culture. It can be assumed that these associations act as an additional push to identify and maintain the culture and traditions in secondgeneration Indian Americans. Most of the interviewees point out that they socialize with other Indian 55 .
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. 21). Hritik (male.Texas Tech University. watching Indian television channels. Indian American students also participate in all the traditional events like diwali (festival of lights). eating Indian food. Tirumala. “When you meet someone from similar cultural background. They also let me keep the traditions alive and help me keep me in check just by being around them. and watching Bollywood movies were some of the activities Indian American students keenly involved. Hritik’s statement suggested that friends play an influential role in maintaining ethnic roots among Indian American students when they are away from home. Asked how important friends are in maintaining the culture. 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. 21) said the following: We all try to maintain the Indian spirit by watching Indian movies. Participants from the focus group session also expressed that they were able to maintain the culture as Indian friends surround them all the time. attending Indian weddings. 2009 American students and Indian students alike. listening to Bollywood music. 22) responded the following 56 . garbha (religious event) and movie night. Going to temple. Aug. Gowri (female. Lakshmi N.
The interviewees and focus group participants stated that family friends also play a significant role in learning and maintaining Indian traditions and values. The majority of the focus group participants observed that unlike peer groups. “Through my family friends I have learned some stuff about culture.Texas Tech University. she is very culturally sound and very religious and she always tries to keep us that way. 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). 23) observed the following: One of my mom’s friends. Tirumala. She always tells us about what’s going on and how we need to be sure and not forget our roots. 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 also tells us to remember who we are and where we come from. 2009 They are extremely important. Deepa (female. Lakshmi N. Aug. They taught me a lot about our traditions and what’s right and what’s wrong by 57 . I mean they come only next to family. 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.
” stated Rahul (male. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. The mere presence of them helps second-generation Indian Americans remain cognizant of their culture and traditions.Texas Tech University. I actually learned cooking Indian food from these family friends. watch Indian movies and have fun. 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. 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. They always told me not to forget my religious background and today they are one of the reasons my faith is really strong. Aug. 23). religion. some found them to be valuable sources of information especially 58 . He continued saying: I used to go to family friends’ house and hang out with them all the time. The findings discussed above suggest that family friends and peer groups play a crucial role in constructing and maintaining an individual’s identity. media influence cannot be taken lightly in identity construction process among secondgeneration Indian Americans. We usually play. Apart from family. and friends. eat Indian food. Therefore. although this seems to depend on the right set of friends who share similar attitudes and a common believe system.
2009 about sports and movies. 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 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. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. Focus group participants observed that even though newspapers and magazines focus on politics. “I hardly read Indian newspapers because I do not understand the language fully. which I am not interested in. Kajol (female.” said Rupa (female. 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. All the participants listened to Indian radio stations when they are available and liked listening to Bollywood music and Indi pop albums. They acknowledged that the Indian music played through these stations reminds them of India and the culture in a 59 . 25). very few interviewees claimed to have read Indian English newspapers and magazines to check out information on films and sports. 21) stated: I love reading Indian books all the time because they have so much information about the Indian society and traditions. Aug. However.Texas Tech University. 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.
one interviewee had a different take on these radio channels and especially about RJ’s (radio jockey).Texas Tech University. 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.” On the other hand. “All these radio channels play Hindi music but again the radio jockeys have American accents which is weird. 2009 subtle way. the above responses suggested that though radio channels play Hindi music for a majority of time. I think you can learn about traditions like arranged marriages because half the time most of the songs talk about arranged marriages and religion. Though they spoke Hindi and Gujarathi they still have fake accents when it comes to English. Lakshmi N. they still open a few spots to focus on religion and 60 . Asked how different the Indian music is. Puja (female. 23). 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. We always turn that program on and listen to the stories and it’s really about values and traditions. Tirumala. Rupa (female. 25). Although a lack of research work on Indian American radio makes it impossible to corroborate.” reported Deepa (female. Aug. It is just kind of calm and peaceful and reminds me of India.
but I guess they are trying to send this message that no one is going to have a perfect life. Television played a pivotal role in bringing the Indian culture and traditions into the lives of Indians in the U. Most of the interviewees. Most of the participants stated that they learn few things about culture and traditions through radio. They are some cool programs like Mahabharata. but that it keeps their Indian identity alive and active. 22) said the following: My parents watch all the Indian channels and I watch with them whenever I am at home. Gemini. Aug. 2009 traditions. Hritik (male.S. 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. which reminds me of Indian culture. Who wants to be lakhpathi etc. 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. there are going to be 61 . Lakshmi N. Tirumala. Teja. All interviewees and focus group participants have subscriptions to satellite channels like Zee. Aishwarya (female. however. Star plus and Sony. 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. Sahara.Texas Tech University. but not in Lubbock. they only have access to these channels at home. and other areas of the diaspora through various programs and movies.
religion and also language”. 22). 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. which helps a lot in keeping that part of us alive. Tirumala. I guess television is our way to stay in tune with the Indian culture while we are here. the importance of religion and traditions. 2009 lot of problems and adversaries and you will have to stick together to get through the situation. Aug. 21) characterized cultural maintenance as follows: I guess. 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. you can actually learn about family values and to respect your in-laws and older people. Most of the participants agreed that television helps in maintaining the cultural identity and stay in tune with the traditions and societal standards. as they don’t watch news programs very often. Sharukh (male. 62 . 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. Accordingly. Gowri (female.Texas Tech University. Half the stuff gets broadcast from India and you get to see parts of India. 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. Lakshmi N. I think we can definitely learn about family values.
Tirumala. he expressed that going to those sites reminds him of India just because of the Indian media. most of the participants from interviews and the focus groups noted that they do not go online to check information regarding the Indian culture. 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. that created new opportunities to stay connected to the homeland. 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. 21) observed that “Basically the only Indian website I have ever gone on to is movie websites and music sites. email and chat facilities etc.Texas Tech University. However. 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 Interestingly. 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. But at the same time they also observed that the Internet does not specifically contribute towards strengthening their Indian identity as 63 .” However. Aug. Interestingly.
such as attending church and celebrating Christmas. Aug. He observed that importance has been given to religious activities. Tirumala. movies play an active role that transmit ideas. 64 . traditions and culture through its variety of plots and characters. this research study focused on the role played by Bollywood movies. 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. Ghahghaei (2007) stated that Hollywood movies play a major role in identity formation among Americans. 2009 they regularly meet up with most of their Facebook/Myspace friends through various ISA and SASA events and meetings. It was found that among the Indian American students included in this study Texas Tech. All the participants from interviews and the focus group observed that Bollywood movies play a crucial role in cultural identity maintenance. they rented Bollywood film DVD’s from local Indian stores. Accordingly.Texas Tech University. in the identity formation of Indian American students. Lakshmi N. the world’s second largest film industry. and national values and culture in film narratives. Participants stated that on average they watch Bollywood movies once or twice a week and mostly with friends and family. most of which are produced and circulated in India at the same time.
Indian movies played in mediocre theatres. Gowri (female. They further added that most of the times. like acceptance of family. They believed that movies with strong traditions and cultural values help the ABCD’s (American Born Confused Desi). 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. Tirumala. Aug. Swades. who veered away from the Indian culture. Indian movies focused on family values and they try to show that parents are important and they are always right. Bipasha (female. because it focuses on what’s really important to Indian people. 22) said the following: I actually identify with Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum. Most of the participants mentioned Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Ghum. to come around. 22). and traditional Indian weddings.Texas Tech University. moral values and traditions. According to one interview participant. Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. song and dance sequences. 2009 All participants preferred watching movies on DVDs to a theatre because movies on DVD have subtitles and are easy to read. religion and moral values. I think it is important because I have been raised with same values and 65 . This is the common view shared among all the participants of interviews and focus groups. where it was harder to read the subtitles. Lakshmi N. participants associated Indian movies with strong family values. Few participants mentioned that it was irritating to watch movies in theatres with subtitles on because half the time they cannot read the subtitles. However. understand and embrace the culture.
The majority of the interview participants expressed that Indian movie’s doing a decent job in portraying a true Indian society and culture. Tirumala. praying etc. 23) said the following: I think they are really good and a doing a great job in portraying Indian culture and traditions. 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.S.Texas Tech University. Interestingly all the other participants also shared similar views as Sandeep (male. In addition to Bollywood movies. Most of the participants stated that they could identify with these movies since they 66 . 2009 morals and I agree with the things they show in movies. 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. 22) said: I identify a lot with these movies. Sandeep (male. Deepa (female. all participants maintained that U. Most of the focus group participants stated that they identify a lot with Indian movies and their narrations. Lakshmi N. I look up to these movies and it is heartwarming to know that this is true and this is right. Aug. This teaches you that family is very important and you are not supposed to go against their wish. Most of them show values. 22). culture and religious things like visiting temples. produced Indian American movies do a good job in teaching Indian culture and value system.
2009 represent Indian Americans and their life styles. Asked why they felt uncomfortable. However. I felt weird. 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. Tirumala. Few participants described that these Indian American movies like “ABCD” and “Where is the party yaar” are stereotyped and funny. 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. 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. Kajol (female. I flipped out and fast forwarded the movie. Aug. Amir (male. Now he likes everything about India and gets involved in all the Indian events and cultural programs. 22). 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. 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.Texas Tech University. 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. 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 .
diwali. Sree (male. and rakshabandhan watching it in 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. I mean if I was watching with my kids I would fast forward it because it is weird. Tirumala. 2009 and also do not approve of it. it seems big in almost every movie. 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.Texas Tech University. observed most of the participants from interviews and focus groups. because my parents are not really big about participating in these events. But you don’t have to feel awkward when you are watching it with your friends. 25) reported: Culturally. the biggest thing I probably learned through movies is festivities and weddings. So I learned a lot about festivities like holi. I got enough religious aspects out of watching it in movies. It helps me stay connected to the culture and ethnic roots. Lakshmi N. And then there is religion. It gave me an incentive to involve more in it. 22) stated: 68 . Puja (female. Aug. Religion and togetherness are the other things they learn through Bollywood movies. Rupa (female. 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.
sexually-suggestive clothing. 22) observed: Bollywood is really pushing towards the American way. because they get to learn something and will be able to pass it on to their kids. 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. They are kind of showing more affection’s in the movies like kissing scenes and love making scenes. and general life style. Deepika (female. However. which help Indian American’s become aware of Indian culture and traditions. They also maintained that their parents talk about traditions and values whenever they watch Indian movies. Lakshmi N. violence and all kinds of crazy stuff that they never showed before. They also show these characters talk in English. a few participants from interviews argued that the Bollywood movies are becoming more and more Westernized in respect to public affection. drug use. Aug. one parent would try to explain the reasons behind a particular theme. Tirumala.Texas Tech University. 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. 69 . Most of the participants from interviews said that whenever they watch movies with their parents. Finally.
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
They enjoy hanging out with 73 . They seem to talk to family members almost every day and most often use ethnic language blended with English while communicating with parents. and Durham (2004) who studied other AsianAmerican populations. visit temples or eat ethnic food. which reflects various social and cultural factors. Tirumala. which largely supports the previous research findings of Jung and Lee (2004). First. 2009 communicative activities such as family environment. Apart from family. in-group and outgroup interactions and the media. 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. second-generation Indian American students’ strong commitment to Indian culture was reflected in their daily activities with family and peer groups. 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. listen to Indian music. Lee (2000). One interesting factor to observe here is that Indian Americans get along well with other Asian American students from China. The results suggested that identity construction and maintenance in second-generation Indian Americans is an ongoing process. Aug. institutions. Lakshmi N.Texas Tech University. Students get together often to watch Indian movies. This factor played a crucial role in constructing the identity and also helped to build a strong commitment towards Indian culture. Korea and Nepal.
Print (newspapers and magazines) did not seem to have a major impact on how Indian American students learned about Indian culture. This suggested that there was a very little cultural loss when Indian American students are able to consume Indian media products. 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. Tirumala. Aug. 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. All Indian American students stated that they feel comfortable with Indian music and television shows. Lakshmi N.Texas Tech University. This appeared to be true in this case of secondgeneration Indian Americans as well. With regard to media influence on cultural identities. 74 . who claimed that people would gravitate toward media from their own culture. however. information regarding various ethnic groups is being documented and commented upon by the media today. Lee (2004) argued that media played a significant role in constructing and maintaining cultural identities because. They also showed a great interest in learning Indian classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. Indian Americans do not read ethnic news papers due to the language barrier. In fact most of the Indian American students admitted that they sometimes follow Indian soap operas and love Indian music. This again supported the notion of cultural proximity by Straubhaar (2003). 2008). 2009 Chinese Americans or Korean Americans as there is a cultural proximity within the Asian culture (Ksiazek and Webster.
Bollywood movies and other ethnic programs that created an ample opportunity to stay connected with the Indian culture and traditions. Though there are no Indian radio stations in this West Texas region. Interestingly.Texas Tech University. Most of these Indian Americans listen to Hindi music on radio and through the Internet. which keep them connected to the Indian society and culture through its characters and scenarios. Lakshmi N. Indian music has a distinct style and it succeeds in reminding second-generation Indian American students about Indian culture. 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. Indian Americans did not see the Internet as a potential opportunity to improve ethnic community relations and to maintain Indian identity. of all the variables that were explored and examined in this study. Thus. As said earlier. which helps to create an ethnic community. Indian American students are able to listen to Indian music through the Internet. The Internet extends communication capacity by facilitating interactive communicative channel. 2009 very few Indian Americans read books written in English by Indian authors. 75 . The Internet was used less frequently than the researcher anticipated for news and other news related information from India. which has appeared to bridge the gap. Aug. Tirumala. 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.
As suggested in the literature. By consuming Bollywood movies.Texas Tech University. Aug. however. Second-generation Indian Americans seemed to consider Bollywood movies as a vehicle for showcasing Indian culture and traditions. Interestingly. 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. Lakshmi N. television appeared to play an important role in identity construction and maintenance process. Of all the media. Indian American students learned about Indian traditions and customs. second-generation Indian Americans identified Indian culture with family togetherness. 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. Through the movies. the Internet and DVDs played a tremendous role in constructing and maintaining the cultural identity as they provided an easy access to Bollywood movies. Participants watched Indian movies regularly and majority of them kept up with latest Bollywood movies and cinema news. The findings suggested that secondgeneration Indian Americans grew up consuming Bollywood movies and constructed and 76 . The new communication technologies like satellite televison. Tirumala. 2009 Parents made their children watch ethnic programs and mythological serials like Ramayana and Mahabharata that taught morals and value system. which help them in maintaining the Indian identity. festivities. and distinctly Indian attitudes and behaviors. a strong sense of religion.
They preferred Bollywood movies that depict family togetherness and other cultural aspects. 77 . 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. religion and peer groups enabled second-generation Indian Americans to construct and maintain their “Indianness. However. Lakshmi N. Bollywood movies along with other social communicative contexts like family. all is not well with the current Bollywood trend.” 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. which are otherwise considered to be clichéd by many Indians. 2009 maintained the cultural identity by learning values and traditions that were reflected in these movies. This factor explains the popularity of Bollywood even amongst the Indian diaspora communities. especially when they are living away from home.Texas Tech University. Indian American students did not like the idea of Bollywood movies deviating from Indian culture and becoming more Westernized. Tirumala. To sum up. It is safe to assume that Bollywood movies act as an additional push in identity construction process amongst second-generation Indian American students. 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. Thus. Aug.
First. 2009 Despite many important findings. Though utmost care was taken to not let researcher’s bias influence the study in any kind. Ethnography of second-generation Indian Americans might shed more light on their daily activities that maintain cultural identity. Aug. his Indian identity may in fact have influenced some participants to give socially desirable responses. To produce more consistent results. both in-depth interviews and surveys. 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.Texas Tech University. extensive research. some form of quantification techniques needs to be administered to support the findings and generalize the results. Lakshmi N. This study was a good starting point to focus more 78 . The final drawback of this study was that the volunteers may have participated with predetermined mindsets and shared biased opinions. 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 is important to understand that nothing can be said about the magnitude and statistical significance of this influence. However. Although statements about the influence of media and Bollywood on identity construction were made in this study. the research study has its own limitations. Tirumala. The study should have administered more than one focus group session to get diverse views and ideas on Bollywood movies and cultural representation. In future research. with a large number of participants. needs to be conducted at more universities.
Texas Tech University. In conclusion. Aug. Lakshmi N. 2009 on second-generation Indian American students in areas like gender difference in understanding culture. Importantly. 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. 79 . Tirumala. the cultural identity of the second-generation Indian Americans living in diasporic intercultural contexts is an ongoing process. 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. as the Indian media tend to portray Indian Americans in negative contexts and describe some of them as American Born Confused Desi (ABCD). especially through Bollywood movies. one who tries to avoid their home country identity and assimilate into the host culture. Finally. 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. However. It is an interesting finding. Bollywood narratives and their influence in maintaining the identity. which is defined and re-defined by social interactions and media. The study also found that second-generation Indian Americans are surprisingly similar to Indians with respect to the knowledge about Indian culture and traditions. 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.
com/society/096. Beinhocker.. In Martina-Ghosh Schellhorn (Eds. (2008). Bose. Bandyopadhyay.. Gersch. 54. Tirumala.com/fandebate/4607. 19(3). 117-133. T. Indian Diaspora The Bridge That Links India to the World. R. (1995).htm.livejournal. 295-310.. Gender and Fan culture. A. community and consumption. Farrell. 2008. Adorno. Asian Folklore Studies.html. Modernity at large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. (1975). J. Bhuyan. 27-42. (1990).. My own island home: The Orkney homecoming.Texas Tech University. W. A. (2007). 79-100. E. et al. Baym. Vol 6(2).. (2006). Nostalgia. Beard. (2005). Basu. 6. identity and tourism: Bollywood in the Indian diaspora. V. A. Organizations and Society. Theory. Aug. U. A. Vol. (2007). Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. Appadurai. 169-190. 3(2). Baijal. A. Vol. 9(1). Retrieved Feb 20. & Punathambekar. 1219. Culture. Popular culture and professional identity: Accountants in the movies. and Society. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Appadurai. D. Watching Indian movies in Australia: Media. New German Critique. Booth. A. Retrieved Jan 10. (2004). Cultural industry reconsidered.243-250). Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. A. Accounting. from http://community. (1994). C. Vol. South Asian Popular Culture. Vol. N. Bhat.) Peripheral Centres. Journal of Material Culture. Continuity and Change in the Perception of ‘Indianness’: Issues of Identity among the Indians and the Indian diaspora.. 2008... (1996). The bird of gold: The rise of India’s consumer market.scribd. Traditional content and narrative structure in the hindi commercial cinema. G. Greenberg. E. 80 . 2008. P. Vol. Athique. A. (2006). from http://www.boloji. 303-318.com/doc/47945/McKinsey-MGI-indiaconsumer-full-report. 7(2). Berlin: LIT Verlag. from http://www. Vol. 2009 References Ablett. Lakshmi N. Central Peripheries: Anglophone India and its Diaspora (pp. Retrieved Jan 20.
2008. K. C. (2005). Globalization and the experience of culture: The resilience of nationhood. K. from http://www. Albany : University of New York. Brand Bollywood: A new global entertainment order. CA: Sage. (2007). New York. Deming. 161-176. Privileging identity. CA: Sage.K. Dave. & Lincoln.pathfind. (2006).d. ‘Rang de basanti’ splendid. and Power: The circuit of culture as a basis for public relations theory..com/Movies/Swades/Summary/. Journal of Public Relations Research.). Pathfinder International Tool Series. Cohn.). 2008. Denzin. Cultural Identities. New Delhi: Sage Publications.html. 81 . Swades summary. N. Tirumala.org/site/DocServer/m_e_tool_series_indepth_interviews. & Neale. Bollywood in the US: The movie business’s most prolific producer meets its biggest market. South Asian Popular Culture. & Gaither. 25-44). Kramer (Eds) Globalization. Dawson. A.. (3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks. (1972). 91-115. D. King of Bollywood: Sharukhkhan and the seductive world of Indian Cinema. A. T. Dissanayake. (2008). (2006). Bollywood: Sociology Goes to the Movies. Difference. 2009 Bose. N. Retrieved Jan 20. W. (2006).Texas Tech University.com/movies/mov355/rang_de_basanti-review. from http://www.starpulse. A. New York. Boyce. Lakshmi N. 2008. from http://www. India: The Social Anthropology of a Civilization. R. Handbook of qualitative research. M. New Jersy: Prentice Hall. B. Dudrah. K. Y. (2007). S.. 17(2). R. (2005). Vol. 3(2). Aug. Thousand Oaks. Retrieved Jan 10. and Media Representations (pp. (n. Chopra. Deoshi. Retrieved Jan 20. NY: Warner Books. Bollywood flashback: Hindi film music and the negotiation of identity among British-Asian youths.pdf? docID=6301. Conducting in-depth interviews: A guide for designing and conducting in-depth interviews for evaluation input.apunkachoice. United States. P. Curtin. P. Unpublished honors thesis. New York University. (2005). In N. Gentz and S. (2006).
nsf/docid/B43C59852DFA15A8CA2 5741000345155. Retrieved Jan 20. Berkeley. Retrieved July 6.com/extweb/ncpressrelease. (1997). & Frey. & Negus. 2008). and communications: Looking backward and forward at Cultural studies. from http://movies.. In N. and Diaspora identity. & Y. A. 336-343). In J. M. (1989). 2009. I will accept this rose”:Representation. sexuality. (1997). Technology and tradition: Audio-visual culture among South Asian families in west London. Janes. London: Arnold. Hall. and consumption in ABC’s The Bachelor. Dwyer. Gyalzen. Hollywood movies and American identity information. 2008. And yet my heart is Indian: The Bombay film industry and the Hindianization of Bollywood. 82 .articleberry. S. Hall..greencine. In S. J. (2007). (2005). A. Durham. S. London: Sage Publications. Critical studies in media communication.a. Cultural Studies. P. P. K. Denzin. Thousand Oaks. Ganti. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. “Yes. CA: Sage Hall. 2008. CA: University of California press.). The work of representation.. 2009 du Gay. What is cultural studies? (pp. Vol. Athens. Bollywood. (1996). A.com/hollywood-movies-andamerican-identity-formation. Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrains. Fontana. 3. Vol. Lincoln (Eds. (2006). Lakshmi N. culture.). NewStateman. Race.. 695-727). 1-11).. (2005). (2007).com/central/guide/Bollywood?page=0%2C0. 21(2). in the lives of South Asian immigrant girls. Thousand Oaks. The interview. Ghahghaei. Coverstory. Mackaym H. from http://www. S. H. Retrieved May 15. Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of Sony Walkman. L. M. (2002). identity. 226-239. FICCI – PricewaterhouseCoopers Report on Indian Entertainment and Media Industry (n. R. Storey (Ed. Hall (Ed. Bollywood’s new dream: Indian cinema has a global future in its sights. (2004). S. Constructing the new ethnicicties: Media. T. Universit y of Georgia. CA: Sage. Hall. Aug. The sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. Gillespie. Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices (pp. from http://www.Texas Tech University. 140-161. Tirumala.).pwc.
Joseph.S. Review of Korean Studies. In. 2008. 2009 Hall. (2003).com/indiandiaspora/index. Retrieved Jan 20.. (2006). Juluri. (2006). Vol. Mass Communication & Society. 867-891. Vol.d. 2008. W. What is cultural studies anyway? Social Text. Vol. et al. Y. M.). Tirumala. M. London: Arnold.overseasindian. Indian American population now over 2.) Retrieved Jan 20. 4(2).nriol.Texas Tech University. (1999). Vol. & Adorno. European Journal of Cultural Studies.com/p/articles/mi_hb5270/is_34_77/ai_n29059774/. 3. Dialectic of Enlightenment. Continuum International Publication Group. 38-80. The rediscovery of “ideology”: Return of the repressed in media studies. 56-90). (2006). 22. ethnic media: The case of Latina magazines. Retrieved Jan 10. 6(1)..usindiafriendship. P. M. Aug. (Eds. 2(2). (1982). Gurevitch.htm. 2008. Culture. D. society and the media (pp. H. A. Bollywood Spectaculars. How ethnic are U. Locating ethnic identity and language among second-generation Korean-Americans.S.). from Overseas Indian: Connecting India with its diaspora Web site: http://www. (1999). M. from http://www. Jo. Johnson. Diamond. Indian diaspora.htm. V. P. 113-140. Indian cinema’s global reach: Historiography through testimonies. (n. 3. Hennik. from http://findarticles. (1976). from http://www.3 million. G. R. (2000).com/2006/10/24/stories/2006102401782200. S. T. 105-137. Retrieved Jan 10. Young Asian Women and relationships: Traditional or transnational? Ethnic and Racial Studies. from The Hindu Web site : http://www. How a burgeoning Indian diaspora tunes into the American dream. World Literature today.net/indian_population_explodes.shtml. 229-248 Johnson. Lakshmi N. Vol. Iordanova. Jaikumar.asp. 2008. (n. & Cooper.. 2008. Retrieved Jan 20. Global weds local: The reception of Hum Aapke Hain Koun.d. 83 . (1987). South Asian Popular Culture. 231-248.hinduonnet. India Population Explodes in the U. I.in/2006/aug/news/23n1. Horkheimer. (2000).
199-209.nationalgeographic. Kaur. Aug. Vol..org/archive/article. Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research.htm. 11-21. & Webster. & Lee.T. A. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. Lovgren. (2006). (2004).S. 19. (1988). (1997).P. (1996). Vol. Bollywood comes to Nigeria. Key.html. Social construction of cultural identity: An ethnographic study of Korean American students. M. Kalkar. Vol. Ethnic conversions: Family. (2008). 2008. Tirumala. Thousand Oaks. B. 52(3). J. Korean immigrants’ viewing patterns of Korean satellite television and its role in their lives. A. Exploring the relationship between electronic literacy and heritage language maintenance. 84 . from http://news.Texas Tech University. Lee. (2004). India International Centre Quarterly. Retrieved Jan 20.php?id=21. CA: Sage. Vol. 8(1). women. R. 14(1). Atlantic Journal of Communication. Hollywood. J. Vol. Interview: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. R.J. Asian Journal of Communication. Research design in occupational education. Cultural proximity and audience behavior : The role of language in patterns of polarization and multicultural influency. Lakshmi N. Newbury Park. Bollyworld: Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens. Kaur. Vol. Language Learning and Technology.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/newpage21. (1980). 12(3). Bollywood: Indian films splice Bombay.com/news/2004/01/0121_040121_Bollywoodfilms . from http://www. E. 2008. Lee. 2009 Jung. S. (1996). CA: Sage Publications Ksiazek. (2002). & Sinha.. Larkin. Retrieved Jan 20. G.10(2). Retrieved Jan 20. C. community. (2005).C (2004). Contemporary South Asia. Kvale. CA: Sage. E. (1997). 68-80.okstate. and kinwork. 11(2). B. 93-113. Kelly.samarmagazine. 146-162. R. Thousand Oaks. The ties that bind: Family relationships in the mythology of hindi cinema. S. Ethnic Studies Review. 81-100. from http://www. Krueger. Viewing the West through Bollywood: A celluloid occident in the making. Vol. J. 2008. S.
go.edu/fcs/cyfernet/cyfar/focus. Overdorf.com/Nightline/Story?id=410630&page=1. 2009 Marczak. & Liu. Inter-Asian Cultural Studies. Vol. Vol. M. A.Texas Tech University. Bollywood gets ready to take on Hollywood. Melkote. 73-89. (2005). Gazette. (2003). Vol. Hooray for Bollywood. from http://abcnews. 25-39. S.html. I need an Indian touch: Glocalization and Bollywood films. The Communication Review. J. Tirumala. from http://hubpages. 85 . (2003). 20(3). S(2008). 4(1). Vol. Bollywood. Tourism and the symbols of identity. (1995). (2000). (2007). from http://www. 2008. & Sewell.com/hub/latest-bollywood. S. Rao. S. The Bollywoodization of the Indian cinema: Cultural nationalism in a global arena. Canada.allacademic. (2005).Vol.htm. Quebec.. M. 62(6).com/id/72719/page/1. Desperately seeking an identity: Diasporic cinema and the articulation of transnational kinship. The role of the Internet in forging a pluralistic integration: A study of Chinese intellectuals in the United States. Nehru. 57-76. Retrieved Sep 20. 313-321. TBA. S. Aug. (1946). Rao. Vol. 2008. Palmer. The values of fantasy: Indian popular cinema through Western scripts. C. Retrieved June 15. Retrieved April 10.newsweek. Tourism Management. 151-173. Punathambekar. Retrieved Jan18.arizona.. Lakshmi N. R. J. International Journal of Cultural Studies.). Mishra. Discovery of India. Moorti. (n. D. Using focus groups for evaluation. S. 8(2). 2008. International Journal of Cultural Studies. Sikka. (1999).d. from http://ag. 2009. 1. 2008. (1996). from http://www. Bollywood in the Indian-American Diaspora: Mediating a transitive logic of cultural citizenship. The globalization of Bollywood: An ethnography of non-elite audiences in India. Retrieved Jan 20. Vol. J. M. 10. Rajadhyaksha. 6(3). Calcutta: Signet Press. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association. 355376. Nayar. J.com/meta/p228862_index. Montreal. (2007). Journal of Popular Culture. 495-504. A.
Austin (Eds. H. Retrieved Jan 20. (2005).). Retrieved Jan 20. J. 25(3). Stadtler. Media and diasporic consciousness: An exploration among Iranians in London. html. K.psfk. Paper presented at the ICA.).E. art and customs. Skipper. Mahwah. Qualitative Sociology. Psychology of Intergroup Relations. from http://corporate. C. D (2008). Aug.). Straubhaar. Culture & Society.egothemag. L. Worchel and L. language. 517-524. Cultural connections: Laagan and its audience responses. Tirumala.com/meta/p228852_index. philosophy. 2008. D. Srinivas. Boom time for Bollywood. 2009. Srebemy. (2005). 409418. In S.com/gupshup/archives/2006/10/Bollywood_woos. F. J. Lakshmi N. social relations and the experience of cinema in India.com/2005/09/Bollywood_enter. (2002). Bollywood enters Australia. B.allacademic. Third World Quarterly. (1874). L. L. The active audience: Spectatorship.html. (1998). NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.com/press_centre/press_releases/070403_Bollywood. from http://www.html. 86 . The End of India. Media. from http://www. The social identity theory of inter-group behavior. 2009 Singh. Srinivas. India: Penguin Books.visitlondon. 77–110). G. Inc. Cottle (Ed. Choosing national TV: Cultural capital. J. Vol. Vol. Philadelphia: Open University Press. Visual Anthropology. 2008. In S. Bollywood woos Europe. researches into the development of mythology. Shah. from http://www. W. (1986). Thussu. (2002). Thompson. 179-196). language. Ethnic minorities and the media (pp. Vol. A. Sheth. 26(3). Elasmar (Ed. Retrieved Jul 10. 323-353. K.html.Texas Tech University. (2000). Active viewing: An ethnography of the Indian film audience.. 11(4). (2007). (2006). S. Vol. New York: Holt and Co. In M. Retrieved Jan 18. Taylor. 24. and cultural proximity in Brazil. (2003). 2008. The impact of international television: A paradigm shift (pp. Chigago: Nelson-Hall. (2003). 155-173. Primitive culture. Border crossings and diasporic identities: Media use and leisure practices of an ethnic minority. religion. Tajfel. & Turner. The Globalization of Bollywood: The Hype and the Hope by Daya Kishan Thussu.
(2006). N. Contributions to Indian Sociology. 87 . from http://www.gov/st/washfileenglish/2006/August/20060809124617nainaw hdaw0 8614466. Aug. 32(2). A more perfect union: Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods in social marketing research. 2008. 53-58. (1996). Retrieved Jan 20. The diaspora comes home: Disciplining desire in DDLJ. Lakshmi N. Social Marketing Quaterly. The long revolution. K. (1961). London: Penguin Books. 305-336. P. Vol. 2009 Uberoi. Williams. (1998). R.america. N.html. Tirumala. Wadhwani.Texas Tech University. A. Weinreich. “Bollywood Mani” rising in United States.
Yash plans to get Rahul married off to his friend's daughter. However. However. Rahul tells his father that he is in love with Anjali and wishes to marry her. Yashovardhan (Yash) is a popular businessman in India.Texas Tech University. however. has never learned why Rahul left home. Aug. This results in Yash asking Rahul to leave his home. 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). As soon as Rohan arrives in London. Lakshmi N. Rohan. He enrolls at a university where Pooja is a student. who believes in maintaining traditions. Naina (Rani Mukherji). Pooja tells Rahul that Rohan is from India and 88 . Tirumala. Rohan also learns that Rahul and Anjali are living in London. this angers Yash and berates Rahul for not taking family traditions into consideration. Anjali's sister have no place to go. Rahul goes to inform Anjali that he wont be able to marry her. but only to find that her father has passed away. He tells her who he is and asks her help to bring the family back together. he finds out Rahul's address. After realizing that Anjali and Pooja (Kareena Kapoor). he finds out from his grandmothers the reasons behind the split. he decided to marry Anjali. Rahul chances upon Anjali (Kajol) and falls in love with her.
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. He is rich but has a dry. Aslam (Kunal Kapoor). Tirumala. loveless life. He has no girlfriend and rues (quite portentously) that he would die a 89 . Eventually. Yash apologizes to Rahul and berates him for not coming home sooner. Lakshmi N. Karan is the silent one. A beer guzzler who is never serious about anything in life. Rohan finally convinces Rahul to speak to Yash. Rahul goes back to India to participate in his paternal grandmother's funeral but never speaks to his father. DJ starts hitting on Sue the minute he sees her. meets a group of friends in whom she sees the characters of her documentary. Rahul and Angali let Rohan stay at their place. 2009 he is looking for some place to live.Texas Tech University. Things end on a happy note. aided by Sonia (Soha Ali Khan). He smokes heavily and seeks happiness among his friends. Sukhi is full of fun and frolic. he reveals his identity and convinces Rahul to go back to India. Aug.Aslam comes from a Muslim family and refuses to endorse the opinion that Muslims ought not mingle with Hindus. Karan (Siddharth) and Sukhi (Sharman Joshi).After having auditioned many in vain for her movie. DJ is originally Daljeet Singh from a Punjabi family consisting of a loving mother (excellently portrayed by Kiron Kher). The group consists of DJ (Aamir Khan). Sue.
Ajay’s mother (Waheeda Rahman) and Pandey (Atul Kulkarni) lead the protest against the Defence Minister to get Ajay the honour he deserved. they still cannot accept the virtues of the characters (of the freedom fighters) they play. But they choose a very extreme way to do it (Deoshi. But they are beaten mercilessly by the cops. Lft. where he worked as an engineer in NASA. 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.Even as the five friends agree to be a part of her movie. In Karan she sees Bhagat Singh and in Aslam she sees Ashfak. 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. Aslam. Tirumala. Sukhi. Ajay Rathod (Madhavan). Karan. the love of Sonia (Soha). But then. Sonia. Swades: We. To them values like patriotism. In DJ she sees Chandrashekhar Azad. Also part of the group is Fl. Aug. after a few years Mohan becomes nostalgic for his home and takes a 90 . He is the only one in the group who has dedication to serve the country. But Sue can see the characters of her movie in them. None of the friends is serious enough to be a part of Sue’s documentary. 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. But. Lakshmi N. Ajay’s mother goes into coma. 2008).Texas Tech University. 2009 kunwara. DJ.
Gita thinks little of Mohan's desire to bring Kaveri back to the United States with him.) 91 . but she also finds herself struck by the charm and intelligence of the adult Mohan. 2009 leave of absence in order to visit Kaveri (Kishori Ballal). and the two build a relationship. a woman who helped to raise him as a boy. 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.d. While searching for Kaveri.Texas Tech University. Mohan becomes reacquainted with Gita (Gayatri Joshi). n. Lakshmi N. Tirumala. Aug. one of his childhood friends who had stayed behind to serve the community as a teacher.
What are some of the differences you find in Indian magazines/news papers produced in India from that of United States? 92 . Lakshmi N. what are they?) e. 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. 2009 Appendix B Discussion Guide Discussion guide for in-depth interviews and focus groups: 1. What does being Indian/Indian-American/American mean to you? c. How do you culturally identify yourself? b. Aug. What are your general impressions on Indian Culture? d. Do you see any difference in Indian Culture from Indian American culture? (If yes.Texas Tech University. What media do you use in general? b. What role do mass media play in second-generation Indian Americans identity construction? a. Name some activities that influence you in learning about Indian culture? f. Tirumala.
Texas Tech University. What is your general impression of Bollywood movies? c. Do you find yourself identifying with the movie characters and plots? e. What roles does Bollywood in particular play in the process of identity construction among second-generation Indian Americans? a. How does your use of Bollywood movies differ from your parents use? d. 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. Tirumala. How often do you watch Indian movies? Who do you watch these movies with? b. 2009 c. Lakshmi N. What Indian television channels you watch regularly? What cultural aspects have you picked up from those various programs? e. Would you say that Bollywood movies represent Indian traditions and values? f. What is your opinion on the culture portrayed in Bollywood movies? Do you think they represent the reality? 93 . Aug. How often do you use the Internet to know about India and culture? 3. What cultural aspects do you learn from Bollywood movies? Any specifics that you can think of? g.
Aug. Thanks for your cooperation. Tirumala. 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. In order to do this. 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. 94 . All responses will be kept confidential and no identifying personal factors will be used in reporting the results of this study. You will be compensated $20. More precisely. we are interested in your opinions regarding Bollywood movies and its influence in maintaining the Indian culture and traditions. Lakshmi N. Tirumala College of Mass Communications Texas Tech University. 2009 Appendix C Interview Consent Form Hi.Texas Tech University. you will be asked to participate in in-depth interview session that would last no more than an hour. Lakshmi N.00 for your time in participating in the study.
Texas Tech University. In order to do this. Tirumala. Thanks for your cooperation. 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.00 for your time in participating in the study. Lakshmi N. 95 . More precisely. 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 College of Mass Communications Texas Tech University. All responses will be kept confidential and no identifying personal factors will be used in reporting the results of this study. you will be asked to participate in a focus group session that would last no more than an hour. 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. Aug.
Agree (Permission is granted.Texas Tech University. Aug. 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.) Student Signature 07-26-09 Date Disagree (Permission is not granted. Lakshmi N. I agree that the Library and my major department shall make it freely available for research purposes. Tirumala Student Signature 07-26-09 Date . 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. Permission to copy this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Director of the Library or my major professor. Tirumala.) _____ Lakshmi N.