Singing through the Screen: Indian Idol and the Cultural Politics of Aspiration in Post-Liberalization India
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Desai-Stephens, Anaar I.
This dissertation examines how discourses and practices of aspirational self-transformation are circulated, consumed, and materialized through sites of popular music practice. Focusing on reality music television shows, such as Indian Idol, and the new music schools that are emerging around them, this study combines nearly two years of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai with close analysis of musical and visual media texts. I argue that popular music practice has become a privileged medium for imagining and cultivating new kinds of selves in the new aspirational economy of globalizing, liberalizing India. Simultaneously, I show that these sites of aspirational musical practice re-inscribe social hierarchies based on class, caste, and gender, even as they espouse a meritocracy grounded in talent.
South Asian studies; Music; Aspiration; Bollywood; Reality Television; Subjectivity; Cultural anthropology; Neoliberalism; Gender
Madrid, Alejandro L.Pond, Steven F.
Weidman, Amanda; Ghosh, Durba
Ph. D., Music
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
dissertation or thesis
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