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Haripriya Narasimhan - Mapping the Audience: The Puzzle that is Hindi Television Soap Opera - SAC

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Moynihan South Asia Center, 

Haripriya Narasimhan, Department of Liberal Arts, IIT Hyderabad

Mapping the Audience: The Puzzle that is Hindi Television Soap Opera

Television soap operas, called serials in India, are both enormously popular, with a viewing audience in the millions, and simultaneously derided for their ‘backward’ content and emphasis on melodrama. Looking at the world of Hindi television serials, this paper aims to highlight what an ethnographic approach to a rich 'field site' , the small screen, can tell us about why an audience in a globalizing nation is hooked to dramas about family conflicts. Comments on TV soaps expose a strong urban critique of small town India, and its supposed preference for 'kitchen politics'.

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Sponsored by the South Asia Center at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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