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Women and the press in British India, 1928-34: a window for protest?

By Jane Chapman and Kate Allison


Second prize winner of the Emerald Publishing Best Article of the Year award for 2011.\ud Purpose: to understand how, in tough economic times, British-owned, English-language newspapers such as The Pioneer received and filtered news, especially gender-related and nationalist-related events and thinking. Design/methodology: using qualitative and quantitative methods to assess communications by and about pro - nationalist women, coverage of female activities was categorised into two groups: firstly educational, social and peaceful campaigns and secondly direct action such as strikes, burning of British cloth and business /land rent boycotts. \ud Findings: direct action provided ‘bad news’ coverage, but it simultaneously gave a small window for publicity. Less threatening peaceful campaigns provided a bigger window – enhanced by the novelty value of female activism. \ud Research limitations/implications: Historians need to look specifically at Indian newspapers during the struggle for independence for a counter-hegemonic discourse that reached a wide public. When evidence of women's activism is paired with financial news, it becomes clear that women had a negative impact on British business. Furthermore The Pioneer’ s own business dilemmas made the paper part of the economic and ideological maelstrom that that it reported on.\ud Originality/value: this is the first time that the colonial press in India itself has been scrutinised in detail on the subject of the rising nationalist movement and women. Findings underline female influence on both economics and ideology – a neglected aspect of Indian gender scholarship and economic history

Topics: L321 Women's Studies, P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified, V200 History by area, V320 Social History, V390 History by Topic not elsewhere classified, V310 Economic History, P400 Publishing, R130 French Society and Culture, V240 Asian History, V146 Modern History 1920-1949, V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies, L210 Political Theories, P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation, R190 French studies not elsewhere classified, P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified, P305 Paper-based Media studies, P500 Journalism, V100 History by period, P290 Publicity studies not elsewhere classified, V271 International History, P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified, V243 South East Asian History, P510 Factual Reporting, V147 Modern History 1950-1999, V210 British History, P300 Media studies, Q200 Comparative Literary studies, V242 Indian History, P100 Information Services, L222 Democracy, V140 Modern History, P490 Publishing not elsewhere classified, V221 French History
Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1108/03068291111143893
OAI identifier:

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