Critical Themes in Indian Sociology brings together the writings of a number of scholars—both well established and younger, in India and in different parts of the world—on various themes that express the richness and diversity that defines sociological scholarship on India. The book reflects changes in scholarship over time and charts out new subjects and methods for the study of social life in India. Commemorating the 50 plus years since Contributions to Indian Sociology was first published, this book is a tribute to a journal that has sustained an internationally acclaimed and rigorous sociological engagement with India. Comprising a wide range of themes such as village, city, class, caste, politics, gender, sexuality, media, food and education, this book presents a concise, yet in-depth sense of a sociological view of India today.
Chapter 26: Cinematic Cultures
In 1985, when I began anthropological research on Tamil film-watching and film-making, I knew of only one English-language ethnographic study of Indian cinema (Pfleiderer and Lutze 1985).1 Several others followed in the early and mid-1990s, focusing primarily on film consumption and meaning-making (Dickey 1993a; Thiruchandran 1993); fans, actors and politics (Dickey 1993b; Pandian 1992); emerging technologies of film music (Manuel 1993); and the production, reception and political uses of film posters and hoardings (Jacob 1997, 1998). In the 20-plus years that have followed this early work, the scholarly landscape has been radically altered. As the field has burgeoned, audiences in particular have received increasing attention from sociologists and anthropologists (and from others using similar methods), as ...