Television and Social Change in Rural India

Television and Social Change in Rural India

Product ID: 7743

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Author: Kirk Johnson
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 247
ISBN/UPC (if available): 076199422X


About 75 percent of India's one billion people live in villages. This study explores the social environment of village life and the role that TV plays in the every-changing landscape of rural India. This systematic, balanced and insightful analysis of TV's impact on rural life will interest professionals and general readers alike.

Over the last fifty years, a number of material improvements have taken place in their lives, ranging from electric supply and better roads to improved water systems and the availability of health care. Yet, the one material commodity that has most dramatically influenced social life in rural India has been the widespread introduction of television. Although the influence of TV as a powerful medium of communication is well recognized, there are very few studies on the impact of TV on Indian Society and culture let alone on rural society.

This ethnographic study explores the social environment of village life and the role that TV plays in the ever-changing landscape of rural India. It delves into the lives of villagers and their evolving relationship with TV, as also its role in the dynamics of social change. Focusing on real people’s lives and their voices, the author uses participant observation methods and in-depth interviews to address various pertinent questions including: What role does TV play in the process of social change? What has been its influence on gender, caste and family relations? What has been the impact of TV on the aspirations, attitudes, expectations and concerns of the villagers? Several processes that are at work in rural India and which relate to TV’s influence are discussed. These include consumerism, migration, the emergence of an information underclass, linguistic hegemony and the restructuring of human relations. Kirk Johnson examines these processes in order to understand their ramifications for development both at the village level and beyond.

This systematic, balanced and insightful analysis of TV’s impact on rural life will be of interest to professionals in the fields of media studies, mass communication, development communication, sociology, anthropology, social change, cultural studies, South Asian studies and qualitative research methodology.


List of Tables and Figures

Foreword by B S Baviskar



Understanding Mass Media
Research on the Frontiers
Village Danawli
Social Change and Village Society
Television in India
Television and Village Life
The Dynamics of Social Change: The Role of Television
In Conclusion

APPENDIX A: Maharashtra
APPENDIX B: Satara District
APPENDIX C: The Study Villages and their Immediate Region
APPENDIX D: Village Settlement



About the Author