In 1991, the Indian state’s new economic policies led to a greater role of the market. A public discourse that had till then been defined by self-reliance, equity and austerity had to be refashioned. The Indian middle class learnt that ‘thrift’ was not a virtue, and ‘shopping was legitimate pleasure’.
This period witnessed other significant developments: the rise of Hindutva; assertion of marginalised castes; and increasing institutionalisation of feminism. The book details how consumerism, combined with ideas of individualism, empowerment and choice in a contemporary public culture, paved the way for an instant, feel-good, and then aggressive nationalism.
Refashioning India maps this process through a compilation of the author’s works, written at different points in time from the early 1990s, through the next two decades up to mid-2017.
The chapters offer detailed studies of advertisements; everyday details in the English-language print media; the communicative abundance of television; the dangers of instant access and unequal ignorance; and the dynamics of a transformed public sphere.
Refashioning India provides a chronicle of contemporary India, written by an author who is as much a participant member as an observer of everyday life in a changing India.
Maitrayee Chaudhuri is Professor of Sociology, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
List of Abbreviations
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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Citizens, Workers, Emblems of Culture: An Analysis of the First Plan Document on Women
Chapter 3 Gender in the Making of the Indian Nation-State
Chapter 4 Gender and Advertisements: The Rhetoric of Globalisation
Chapter 5 ‘Feminism’ in Print Media
Chapter 6 A Question of Choice: Advertisements, Media, and Democracy
Chapter 7 The Family and its Representation: From Indology to Market Research
Chapter 8 Nationalism is not What it Used to be: Can Feminism be any Different?
Chapter 9 The Indian Media and its Transformed Public
Chapter 10 Gender, Media, and Popular Culture in a Global India
Chapter 11 National and Global Media Discourse after ‘Nirbhaya’: Instant Access and Unequal Knowledge
Chapter 12 The 2014 General Elections and Afterwards: A Churning Public Discourse and the New Hegemony