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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Media Research

Today our class started with a recap of the previous class where we had discussed on the topic of mass and masses. Post discussion the topic shifted to Indian culture and selling of foreign products in India. The topic came about on the lines of how Coca Cola is been sold as a thirst quencher in the market, when the same thing can be replaced with water or other beverages such as tea, coffee or lemon water. We elaborated on the topic saying that Coke is sold through indigenization of the product such as portraying it as been associated with happiness and Indian festivals such as Diwali. However the counter argument was that Diwali is part of religious celebrations by Hindus and not necessarily an Indian culture on the whole. The topic was broadened by bringing in the topic of dress code and how most institutions in South India follow a strict dress code for students which is mostly salwar kameez for girls and formals for men. However here again salwar kameez is a North Indian dress. Bhangra has also moved on in the same way. Originally a Punjabi festival it has become extremely popular all across India, even though Bollywood is located in Maharashtra and most actors hail from Uttar Pradesh. So it remains unexplained how Bhangra became so popular among masses blurring regional and state lines. However the fact remains that these examples point to the fact that there is movement of North Indian culture down to the South. Also cultures get carried through products and goods that are sellable.

At the time of choosing the Indian national language, Bengali lost to Hindi by a single vote. Bengali was mooted as a national language because it is more ancient than Hindi. However it’s a pity that Urdu was not taken up more seriously since Urdu as a language is extremely rich though it has fallen prey to been wrongly linked up with Islam. Most great poets and lyricists like Gulzar and Javed Akhtar still write in Urdu.

Media research in India is a copy of what happens in the western countries especially the U.S. It’s based on audience and television research. This might be due the reason that many lecturers in established institutions in India and researchers in the industry have at some point of time been to the US for their studies or pursuing research related material and have gotten exposed and influenced to that particular form of media research.

Over the years the education system in India with regards to the syllabus has changed very little. Take for example journalism schools. The syllabus very much remains the same that was taught a decade back. The media in itself has seen changes in leadership styles. In fact most famous media journalists are not from a journalism background for example Prannoy Roy has done his Phd in Agricultural Economics and Rajdeep Sardesai had studied Economics and Law.

Definition of research remains the same across all disciples. It is termed as being something new, knowledge production and epistemology. Also research in terms of media and communication, differences between method and methodology were further discussed in the class. Method is a particular way of doing something example interview, survey. Methodology is various practices in research that is how you are going to do your research, what you are going to use and the final presentation.

Different types of method includes interview, action research, observation, participant observation, focus group discussion, survey (survey can be based on interview, questionnaire and online questionnaire), psychoanalysis, marxist analysis, semiotics, discourse analysis, content analysis, queer analysis. There are hardly any books on research methods for media studies. Mr. Pinto is also thinking of writing a book on the same, one that can be used in various colleges by students pursuing research in media. Waiting for the book…

Pooja Basnett

1 comment:

Anil Pinto said...

You have done some individual research yourself! Good