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Title: 'Another member of our family' : aspects of television culture and social change in Varanasi, north India
Author: Roberts, Simon William
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis examines the uses and place of television in Varanasi, the major city of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. The focus of the thesis is the household consumption of television and the gender and kinship relations through which viewing is organised. Particular attention is given to household negotiations with satellite television and on attempts to find a place for what is often represented as an intrusive medium. It explores some of the processes through which television has become implicated in the lives of household and its members. The current lively debate about the effects of satellite television, seen most clearly with reference to children, is explored as an issue which both informs household responses to television and has wider symbolic currency in contemporary Indian society. A result of participant observation in Varanasi is ethnographic description of the organisation of satellite services in the city and the production and reception of local television programmes. So that the implications of television within this environment can be examined a discussion of newspaper consumption is included. By attending to the media environment in the city the thesis provides a localised account of global processes and places the discussion within the pre-existing media framework of the city. Description of public and domestic space in Varanasi acts as a context through which the relation of television to both these arenas is examined. Shifts in the evaluation and use of the 'outside' act as a significant commentary on changes in the physical and social landscape of Varanasi in which television has played a role. Similarly, attention to domestic space and its social and aesthetic organisation provides the setting for a discussion of the place of television within everyday household life. The widespread involvement of television sets in dowry prestation is examined as a phenomenon which simultaneously bears on consumption, concerns about television content, aspects of contemporary marriage and the spatial organisation of the house.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available