chapter  6
18 Pages

The impact of globalization on Bollywood cinema’s depictions of violence, sexuality, crime, social vice, and romance

ByDAVID J. SCHAEFER, KAVITA KARAN

The past two decades have witnessed a major surge of theoretical scholarship focusing on the broad features of popular Hindi cinema. Despite the significance and breadth of this output, scholars have rarely utilized quantitative techniques to examine the relationships between globalization and depictions of violence, criminality/vice, sexuality, and romance. As we discussed in the Introduction, scholars have asserted that Hindi filmmakers often operationalize binary-style visual and verbal dialectical elements to position India vis-à-vis geographical (e.g., internal-external), cultural (e.g., East-West), political (e.g., motherlanddisapora), and infrastructural (e.g., tradition-modernity) dimensions (Basu 2010; Chowdhury 2011; Gokulsing and Dissanayake 2004; Mishra 2002; Sen 2011; Thakur 2011). Thakur has suggested that such positioning is one of the primary power dynamics at work within transcultural communication systems: “globalization needs to be reconsidered perhaps as facilitating and enabling apparently oppositional values, positions, and rhetoric to coexist and even [be] appropriated for enlivening the ethics of progress and advancement” (Thakur 2011: 90). While it has become fashionable in post-colonial film theory to downplay binary positioning as a legacy of colonialism, to do so allows continually reproduced and power-laden social formations unscrutinized freedom to shape cinematic ideological systems.