• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Locating Cultural Change: Theory, Method, Process is concerned with defining the ‘local’ through case studies of specific cultural processes. The focus is on the institutionalization of ‘local’ concerns where the ‘local’ is the site of ideas and issues, and how these in turn influence us. The central premise of this collection is that in order to understand the common man's perspective, one has to demystify cultural processes.

The book seeks to capture the vibrancy of cultural processes through a wide range of things that are a part of daily life spanning Hindi films, vernacular press, metropolitan club culture, the translation industry in India, medical advertisements, and prime-time television serials.

The volume shows how it is through the texts being and becoming that culture is produced and participated in. It argues that the production and consumption of meaning and material in conjunction helps us understand cultural processes in totality—not just as a conglomeration of events outside of us, but also as a part and parcel of daily life.

Medical Advertisement: An Embodiment of Culture
Medical advertisement: An embodiment of culture

Advertising has emerged as the central cultural form of commodity capitalism.1 Richards2 calls it a ‘spectacle’ because advertising translates things into a fantasy visual display of signs and symbols. Today, even medicines have become consumer products for mass consumption. Expenditure on health and medical care are growing faster in India than the overall rate of consumption spending. This has become possible due to the development of a new form of commodity culture: the spectacle of the consumer's body.3 This chapter intends to examine the advertisements of health-enhancing tonic (salsas in ayurvedic terminology), health food and drinks between the closing years of nineteenth century to the present days. ‘Medicalization of life’ is not at all ...

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