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Type: Journal article
Title: Tamil talk shows: maintaining tradition in the new public sphere
Author: Pongiyannan, D.
Pugsley, P.
Citation: Global Media and Communication, 2016; 12(2):161-175
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1742-7665
Statement of
Dhamu Pongiyannan and Peter C Pugsley
Abstract: The popular Indian television talk show, Neeya? Naana? (You? or Me?), offers a public platform for open discussion of important issues facing citizens in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Through its inclusive nature and open discussion format, the programme demonstrates the gendered involvement of citizens from all sections of society, including the socially disadvantaged castes and classes. While this suggests that Indian television provides a new site for an emerging public sphere, we contend that the public sphere in India can be historicized to the third millennium BC. In our analysis of Neeya? Naana?, we establish a relationship between Habermasian notions of the public sphere, India’s argumentative tradition and the ancient Sangam literature of South India. We further interrogate the concept of the public sphere by asserting that while India’s television talk shows offer the suggestion of an open democratic forum, they instead reinforce conservative cultural values.
Keywords: Democracy; India; public sphere; talk shows; Tamil Nadu; television
Rights: © The Author(s) 2016
DOI: 10.1177/1742766516652918
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Linguistics publications

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