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A Passage to India: Images of India in U.K/U.S Feature Films from 1930-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  A Passage to India Page 19 of 29 Student Paper speaking characters. And when they did speak dialogue, there were more likely to be characters who are peripheral to the narrative rather than central. Gender. There were more male characters than female ones. However, the gender divide was much more pronounced amongst Indian characters (75% males and 25% females) as compared to non-Indian characters (62% males and 38% females), χ 2 (1, N = 421) = 7.73, p <0 .01. Occupation. The findings suggest that Indians (66%, N=126) were more likely than non-Indians (37.6%, N=74) to be assigned to stereotypical occupations than non- stereotypical occupation, χ 2 (1, N = 388 6 ) = 31.3, p < 0 .001. Stereotypical occupations were being unemployed, homemakers, hunters/gatherers, farmers, skilled and unskilled laborers (servant, cleaner, fanner, waterbearer, servers, cart-driver, petty vendors, tourist guides, tailor and secretary, mahout, snakecharmer), thief/gangster, magician, priest and prostitute/pimp. Non-stereotypical occupations were managers, professionals (lawyers, doctors etc.), land-owners, businesspersons, academicians, tourists, military/police personnel, judges, nurses, entertainers/artists, politicians, missionaries and students. In talking about the state of employment, the main character Ram Das in Foreign Body comments that : “Calcutta was bulging at the seams with unemployed men”. Several movies show Indian servants sweeping the floors, working in the garden, tending to horses, carrying luggage on the head, bowing and saluting, serving food and doing manual labor in the sun as a back-drop to the main narrative. Place of residence. Indian characters (65.7%, N=88) were much more likely than non-Indian characters (12%, N=16) to be featured as residing in stereotypical places, χ 2 6 Characters whose occupation values were coded as “can’t tell” were not considered for the analysis.

Authors: Ramasubramanian, Srividya.
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A Passage to India
Page 19 of 29
Student Paper
speaking characters. And when they did speak dialogue, there were more likely to be
characters who are peripheral to the narrative rather than central.
Gender. There were more male characters than female ones. However, the gender
divide was much more pronounced amongst Indian characters (75% males and 25%
females) as compared to non-Indian characters (62% males and 38% females),
χ
2
(1, N =
421) = 7.73, p
<0 .01.
Occupation. The findings suggest that Indians (66%, N=126) were more likely
than non-Indians (37.6%, N=74) to be assigned to stereotypical occupations than non-
stereotypical occupation,
χ
2
(1, N = 388
6
) = 31.3, p
< 0 .001. Stereotypical occupations
were being unemployed, homemakers, hunters/gatherers, farmers, skilled and unskilled
laborers (servant, cleaner, fanner, waterbearer, servers, cart-driver, petty vendors, tourist
guides, tailor and secretary, mahout, snakecharmer), thief/gangster, magician, priest and
prostitute/pimp. Non-stereotypical occupations were managers, professionals (lawyers,
doctors etc.), land-owners, businesspersons, academicians, tourists, military/police
personnel, judges, nurses, entertainers/artists, politicians, missionaries and students. In
talking about the state of employment, the main character Ram Das in Foreign Body
comments that : “Calcutta was bulging at the seams with unemployed men”. Several
movies show Indian servants sweeping the floors, working in the garden, tending to
horses, carrying luggage on the head, bowing and saluting, serving food and doing
manual labor in the sun as a back-drop to the main narrative.
Place of residence. Indian characters (65.7%, N=88) were much more likely than
non-Indian characters (12%, N=16) to be featured as residing in stereotypical places,
χ
2
6
Characters whose occupation values were coded as “can’t tell” were not considered for the analysis.


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