Anthropology Answer Writing Practice - Week 6 - Question 5
90 Days Anthropology Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 12-Jan-2018
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12-Jan-2018 - Question 1
Examine the impact of Media on Indian Society with suitable examples (250 words)
The impact of mass media in India is very significant and this is clearly apparent through the rising number of advertisers who are capitalizing on these media channels to spread their messages. Rural or urban, regardless of caste and religious boundaries, Indians are glued to television and radio serials.
In Kirk Johnson s study of a small town two hours away from Mumbai city where television had just reached, he noted how television upset existing social structures and created new ones. This essay aims to answer the question it has put forth above through the examination of the differences in social structures in India from the past to the present; as well as the differences in forms of communication and entertainment.
Folk Music, television and cinema will be examined under the category of communication and entertainment. Communication in India often took on a musical tone, especially in the communication of religious works or literature. Poetry and religious texts were often sung. The advent of television, however, has made this rather obsolete. Similarly, village theatre and dance (nautanki) have been replaced by cinema and television serials.
Social structures in India have also changed with respect to the caste system as Johnson s work shall demonstrate. Owning forms of media and communication (televisions) has become more a more important symbol of class than caste. Similarly; village story-telling and word-of-mouth has lost its following and has thus changed the social structure of things as well.
Caste lines have been blurred in the quest to gain access to information; which in itself is not a bad thing. Television watching, especially in the rural areas has become a communal event and it is not uncommon for TV owners to position their television sets such that they are facing the open door; allowing members of other caste groups to sit outside the home and enjoy the shows. Similarly, in villages where there is one common, government-provided television set, members of the village gather around to watch communally. This is especially the case for religious programs as well as those related to agriculture.
However, such interaction means that traditional social structures have been destroyed and more people are flocking to the cities that they see on television in the hopes of achieving the material goods that are telecast. This has resulted indirectly in an increasing number of unemployed in the cities as well as a growing number of slums, as these internal migrants are often lowly skilled and unable to find suitable jobs in the city.
Societies like India s are being affected by globalization and the western influences that are a large part of it, but their interest also plays an active role in fostering it.