product description page
Gender, Nation and Popular Film in India : Globalizing Muscular Nationalism (Hardcover) (Sikata
About this item
Interpretations of manhood have unfolded in India within a middle class cultural milieu shaped by an assertive self-confidence fuelled by "liberalisation", a process by which India has been integrated into the global political economy and the prominence of Hindutva or Hindu nationalist politics.
By drawing on popular films, this book unpacks a particular gendered vision of nation in the modern Indian context. This "muscular nationalism" is an intersection of a specific vision of masculinity with the political doctrine of nationalism: the idea of nation is animated by an idea of manhood associated with martial prowess, muscular strength and toughness, but coupled with the image and construct of virtuous woman – a gendered binary, martial man/chaste woman.
The author skilfully and convincingly draws together issues of political economy, i.e. globalization and neoliberalism with majoritarian politics and popular culture, thus showing how disparate strands intersect and build on each other. Using interpretive methodologies and popular media, the book presents new interpretations of Bollywood films through the lenses of gender/masculinity and nationalism as constructed/portrayed through history, Muslims and the Diaspora. The book will be of interest to scholars of South Asian politics and culture, in particular Indian nationalism, popular culture, cultural and gender studies.