Toenails, Bells and Carpenters: An Ethnographic Study of the Hindi Television Soap Opera Industry
. Haripriya Narasimhan
, Department of Liberal Arts, IIT Hyderabad
. This paper focused on the world of Hindi soap operas, or serials as they are called in India. It explores the ways in which increasing corporatization of the industry influences story-telling. The analysis is based on conversations with people working in the TV industry in Mumbai, and on their activities online in social media sites. Contrary to the image of a homogenous entity that ‘TV people’ (TV waale) occupy in the public mind, the category is extremely diverse. Different stakeholders such as writers, actors, producers, directors, and channel executives, occupying shifting positions in the hierarchical structure that makes up a dynamic but demanding TV industry, performing various roles under highly competitive and stressful conditions. The paper suggests that, in trying to “imagine” a “typical viewer”, those involved in the production process of television serials seem to overlook the importance of story-telling, a key determining factor for the viewers. The seminar took place at 5pm
on Thursday, 27 November
in the Seligman Library
(6th Floor of the Old Buillding, LSE).