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Loving with irony: young Bombay viewers discuss clothing, sex and their encounters with media

By Shakuntala Banaji


The media landscape in urban India has changed so rapidly in the past 10 years that it is not easy to consider the ways in which these changes interact with people's lives and beliefs. Apocalyptic pronouncements about the ways in which MTV-style television, films and the Internet are destroying 'genuine' Indian culture by promoting western sexual values abound in journalistic and political circles. But what are the realities of young people's encounters with media in a thriving Indian metropolis? How do they make sense of all the vastly different images of sexuality embodied in community/religious edicts and modern media? And how are their interpretations of all these supposed 'messages' played out in their everyday lives? Emerging from a three-year study of youth audiences of Hindi films in London and Bombay, this article explores the ways in which young people's sexual attitudes, values and behaviours are inflected by encounters with films, television and the Internet. By focusing on understandings of sex and love within the context of statements about community norms, sex education and personal sexual practices, this article also engages with ideas and myths about representations of women that have dominated recent debates on sex, censorship and the media in India

Topics: PN1990 Broadcasting, HM Sociology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1080/14681810600982044
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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