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Soft Power, Bollywood Cinema, and Cultural Proximity: Comparing Viewer Reactions to Popular Hindi Cinema in India and the Diaspora

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Abstract:

In this paper, we explore a relatively neglected genre of research -- Bollywood audience studies, reporting on the findings from a survey that was conducted in India and overseas locations to examine geographical differences in interpretations of popular Hindi cinema and cultural contexts. We collected 412 completed viewer surveys, finding that while overall perceptions of Hindi cinema were similar between the two groups, Indian viewers reported higher sensitivity to depicted cultural content. Also, Indian respondents were significantly more likely to celebrate and support Indian culture, while diasporic respondents were significantly more likely to support Western culture. Finally, Indian viewers were attracted by depictions of urban/contemporary lifestyles, while diasporic viewers were more attracted to depictions of rural/traditional practices in Hindi films. We conclude by addressing how Indian and diasporic viewers – while sharing much of their perspectives on Hindi films – exhibited cultural proximity effects that would likely limit the influence of India’s soft power through Bollywood cinema.

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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p640882_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Schaefer, David. and Karan, Kavita. "Soft Power, Bollywood Cinema, and Cultural Proximity: Comparing Viewer Reactions to Popular Hindi Cinema in India and the Diaspora" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England, Jun 17, 2013 <Not Available>. 2018-08-31 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p640882_index.html>

APA Citation:

Schaefer, D. J. and Karan, K. , 2013-06-17 "Soft Power, Bollywood Cinema, and Cultural Proximity: Comparing Viewer Reactions to Popular Hindi Cinema in India and the Diaspora" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England Online <APPLICATION/X-UNKNOWN-APPLICATION-OCTET-STREAM>. 2018-08-31 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p640882_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In this paper, we explore a relatively neglected genre of research -- Bollywood audience studies, reporting on the findings from a survey that was conducted in India and overseas locations to examine geographical differences in interpretations of popular Hindi cinema and cultural contexts. We collected 412 completed viewer surveys, finding that while overall perceptions of Hindi cinema were similar between the two groups, Indian viewers reported higher sensitivity to depicted cultural content. Also, Indian respondents were significantly more likely to celebrate and support Indian culture, while diasporic respondents were significantly more likely to support Western culture. Finally, Indian viewers were attracted by depictions of urban/contemporary lifestyles, while diasporic viewers were more attracted to depictions of rural/traditional practices in Hindi films. We conclude by addressing how Indian and diasporic viewers – while sharing much of their perspectives on Hindi films – exhibited cultural proximity effects that would likely limit the influence of India’s soft power through Bollywood cinema.


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