26 April 2012
Venue: Room 501 (Pat Hanan Room), Arts 2 (Building 207)
Host: Adrian Athique, University of Waikato
One of the striking features of India’s economic transformation since 1991 has been the transformation of the media environment. As investors from India and abroad have begun to invest heavily in various media platforms, the old operating logics of media production in both the formal and informal economies have become subject to a new corporate agenda. These developments have unleashed processes of cross-media integration where corporate media concerns have demonstrated their capacity to deploy new capital and new technologies in a highly competitive and rapidly changing media market. In turn, the economic processes of horizontal and vertical integration and the technical processes of remediation have been manifested in the construction of new leisure environments in Indian cities. At the same time, it would be an error to paint the expanding leisure economy in narrow terms as only a product of liberalisation, not least since the larger part of this field remains located in the disorganized sector (that is, in the informal economy). In both tiers of operation, however, the everyday experience of India’s media consumers has been rapidly transformed by market innovations and a more explicitly global social imagination. This paper interrogates the current form of the Indian leisure economy and identifies some of the critical questions pertinent to the emergence of a two-tier media infrastructure.
Adrian Athique is a Senior Lecturer in Screen & Media Studies at the University of Waikato. His publications include 3 recent books: The Multiplex in India: A Cultural Economy of Urban Leisure (Routledge, 2010, co-authored with Douglas Hill); Indian Media: Global Approaches (Polity Press, 2012); and Digital Media and Society (Polity Press, 2012). His research interests include the social imagination of media audiences, ethnography of media industries, transnational media flows, the sociology and technology of media, and visual anthropology.
Drinks and snacks to follow.