Representation of ‘family’ in indian television serials Cover Image

Representation of ‘family’ in indian television serials
Representation of ‘family’ in indian television serials

Author(s): Gudipaty Nagamallika
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Institutul de Antropologie ,,Francisc I. Rainer” al Academiei Române
Keywords: joint family; matriarch; supernatural beings; serials.

Summary/Abstract: Objectives. Effects of globalization have been limited in relation to Indian family structure and culture. Television, an important source of infotainment for most Indian households, reflects social reality with real-time, tempered with elements of drama and stereotypical depictions of characters within families. This paper analyses family as a unit, a universal theme in most television serials, its inter and intra family relationships and extent of dramatic liberty to overcome the limitations of a serial’s life. Material and methods. Ethnographic content analysis of the top ten Hindi serials (national language of India) of 2016 (based on Broadcast Audience Research Council, India) was conducted with main characters within family as the unit of analysis. Descriptions of protagonists and the power equations determine the relationships and hierarchies within television families. Categories that emerged from the narratives using grounded theory were: structure of the family, the power centers within the family, the portrayal of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and its relation to power equations within the family members. Results and Conclusions. As a descriptive study, the results obtained reflect the conclusions. Rich, upper-middle-class joint families are still the most popular institutions in television serials and women continue to be dominant forces in soap operas. A shift in the importance of characters within the family fold incorporates the changing dynamics in the current Indian society. The naturalization of ‘supernatural beings’ in the family serials helped overcome the temporal and spatial limitations of an ordinary serial, a trend reflecting global agenda.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 8
  • Page Range: 219-231
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English