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Counter hegemony, newspapers and the origins of anti-colonialism in French India

By Jane Chapman

Abstract

Purpose: to reveal the contribution of counter-hegemonic communications towards the origins of anti-colonialism in French India during the years 1935-7 and thereby to illuminate the relationship between press, economics and ideology in a colonial context.\ud Design/methodology: qualitative study of local archives in Tamil and French, including indigenous print communications such as the workers’ paper Swandanthiram. These are used as a prism for analysis of the development of a workers’ public voice during major textile strikes, and assessed in the light of John Downing’s definitions of advocacy journalism (1984, 2001).\ud Findings: Communications were directly connected to disempowerment and lack of civil, political and economic rights. The formation of legal worker organisations for the first time and a new political party provided the context in which activist leaders adopted a twofold vertical and lateral strategy in their publications, to promote their formative anti-colonial ideas.\ud Research limitations/implications: This research illuminates the relationship between press, economics and ideology in a colonial context, demonstrating the importance of economic factors in rise of nationalist movements and the way press usage is connected to basic civil, political and economic rights.\ud Originality/value\ud The paper traces a forgotten episode in the history of a neglected corner of French empire, significant for the emergence of the indigenous population -including peasant women - for the first time from the private to the public sphere as an organised force- a factor that has previously been ignored by historians

Topics: 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, R120 French Literature, V147 Modern History 1950-1999, L321 Women's Studies, P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified, V320 Social History, V390 History by Topic not elsewhere classified, V310 Economic History, P400 Publishing, P300 Media studies, R130 French Society and Culture, V240 Asian History, V242 Indian History, V146 Modern History 1920-1949, P100 Information Services, V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies, L222 Democracy, V140 Modern History, P490 Publishing not elsewhere classified, L210 Political Theories, R100 French studies, V221 French History, P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation, P305 Paper-based Media studies, R190 French studies not elsewhere classified, P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified, P500 Journalism
Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1108/03068291111092007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2737

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