This study reports on a four-month ethnographic project conducted among young Catholic women in Mumbai, India. Here, the author examines how the media consumption of participants is implicated in reconstituting Indian national identity. Because Hinduism is closely tied to conceptualizations of Indianness and because women continue to be marginalized in Indian society, Catholic women in India are viewed as second-class citizens or “not Indian enough” or “appropriately Indian” by virtue of their gender and religious affiliation. However, through media consumption that emphasizes hybridity, participants destabilize narrow definitions of Indian identity. Specifically, participants cultivate hybridity as central to an Indian identity that is viable in an increasingly global society. Within this formulation of hybridity, markers of their marginalization are reframed as markers of distinction. By centering hybridity in their media consumption, young, middle-class Catholic women (re)imagine their national identity in translocal cosmopolitan terms that subverts marginalization experienced by virtue of their religion and leverages privileges they enjoy by virtue of their middle-class status. Importantly, this version of Indian identity remains elitist in that it remains inaccessible to poor women, including poor women of minority groups.
Doshi, M.J. (2018), "Hybridizing National Identity: Reflections on the Media Consumption of Middle-Class Catholic Women in Urban India
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