Evolving humanity, emerging worlds
Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013
Location Roscoe 1.009
Date and Start Time 09 Aug, 2013 at 09:00
Cultural studies has fascinated academics and students. The features are structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, queer theory and post-colonial theory. Case studies in the cultures of communications, shopping, advertisements.
Cultural studies has fascinated academics and students around the globe with its deft application of complex theories to everyday life. A discipline between disciplines, it makes the academic popular and the popular, academic. Cultural studies are concerned with the social and cultural construction of meanings and investigate how power relations govern these meanings. This lucid introduction explains the theory and practice of cultural studies with the help of detailed cultural analysis. The features of culture studies are structuralism, poststructuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, queer theory and post-colonial theory.
This panel invites contributions that discuss the general theoretical, methodological or epistemological contributions of cultural studies work to anthropology or papers that offer case studies focused on the cultures of communications, shopping and space. Examples might range from shopping malls, advertisements and mobile phone cultures to property business, housekeeping and development projects of the government.
Chair: Dr. Ashok Sachdeva
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Consuming 'normality' in post-socialist Serbia: beyond the East-West dichotomy
I argue against understanding of consumption in postsocialist Europe as a simple political act and consumption of images of the West. I argue that certain ways of shopping serve as sources for the understanding of social life itself and as an important element for building the proper moral self.
In this paper I want to address the impact of cultural studies on understanding of consumption in European post-socialist countries that tend to apply specific understanding of 'choice' (in this case 'consumer choice') that is central to 'Western' ideologies of 'individualism' (see Strathern 1992). Thus, literature on consumption in postsocialist Europe tends to see consumption as a political act (in choosing between Western goods and their 'less sophisticated' Eastern European versions, to put it rather crudely). This has led some authors to conclude that consumerism in the socialist countries was actually consumption of images of the West. This makes people in Eastern Europe appear either as the victims of 'Western commodity fetishism' or as rebels against their socialist states (cf. the critique of Lampland 1995, which argues that 'commodity fetishism' was a consequence of socialism insomuch as it was also the consequence of capitalism). I argue that the situation in postsocialist Serbia is more complicated than these accounts suggest. I will offer an ethnographic study of the specific group of people with whom I worked in the northern Serbian town of Novi Sad, who were relatively young and whose identification strategies were directed towards 'cosmopolitan' practices. I will try to avoid the simple dichotomy between 'socialism' and 'capitalism', 'East' and 'West', while trying to understand how certain ways of shopping (but also certain styles of selling) serve simultaneously as sources for the understanding of social life itself and as an important element for building the proper moral self.
Code Switching in Indian Culture
In India a new kind of Culture is emerging which is speaking neither Hindi nor English but it can be called Hinglish. Code- switching, Code-mixing, reduplication etc. are the factors which are responsible for mixed culture. Present paper evaluates the effect of culture on Language.
Due to modernization, liberalization, and globalization and with the advent of TV channels a new kind of Culture is emerging which is speaking neither Hindi nor English but we may call it Hinglish. In other words TV is serving us a cocktail of Hindi-English. Grammar which was considered as the back bone of a language is being neglected. A new culture is emerging which in their skintight or stone wash or monkey wash clothes speak Hinglish with great pride. For e.g. the loss of fourth wicket is a Jabardast Jhatka for the Pakistani team. Hinglish and reduplication is ungrammatical. For example: (Maine abhi just khana khaya hai). A large proportion of the world's population is bilingual. Bilingualism is present practically in every country of the world, in all classes of the society. Language alternation has become significant in the Indian context in view of the variety of language distribution throughout the country. Bilingual processes are the most commonly noticed instances in Indian culture. This process is called code-switching, in the general context of bilingualism.
Sample was collected with the help of tape-record. Our data shows that English domain for the informant is employment domain while the most Hindi domain is family. In the family domain the mother tongue is the most dominant code in its most intimate variety, which is a symbol of group identity and solidarity.
Culture as resource material for learning Hindi language
Hindi and other Indian languages have deep relation with India’s culture, and society. It was by his culture that on one hand man has expressed his feelings and thoughts and on the other hand given extension in the field of wisdom, human behaviour, science and arts.
Indian culture has deeply influenced the structure of Hindi language hence in order to understand Hindi, the knowledge of culture will work as resource material for learning language. India is the mother land of Hindi. Hence Hindi and other Indian languages have deep relation with India's culture, land and society. In order to understand the body and soul of "Hindi" the knowledge of culture is expected. Hindi and other Indian languages have emerged from Indo-Aryan family. Some other languages are from Dravidian family but the source or mother of these languages is Sanskrit. Besides culture the knowledge of Sanskrit also helps in understanding the vocabulary, grammatical structure, syntax and nature of Hindi. Panini's grammar also helps in this context.
The Indian culture is developed with assimilation of various other cultures. Hindi and other Indian languages have adopted many words of foreign languages. Speaker learning language as L2 is bound to have different phonology. So the teacher is expected to have knowledge of L1 and L2 & differences between the two.
It was by his culture that on one hand man has expressed his feelings and thoughts and on the other hand given extension in the field of wisdom, science and arts. When the extension of this reflection was expressed for creative manifestation by medium of language it was put into the category of literature. Hence literature is the expression and recreation of life and which itself is the mirror of culture and society.
Cross Cultural Contours in Bapsi Sidhwa's Fiction
Bapsi Sidhwa expresses in her works the suffering and the agony of the displaced people who had to adopt the alien culture either willingly or unwillingly.She
addresses important issues of selfhood, ethnic and communal identity as well as nuance and effects of a cross culture contours.
Literature is the reflection of the society. Fiction, a part of Literature, thus is a projection of the social, cultural consciousness. Bapsi Sidhwa uses this apt medium to represent men- women, life, culture, society and diasporic condition through her imaginative repertoire of characters and stories.
Culture and society play a significant role in common people's life in all over the world. Sidhwa portray its impact on the life of people especially the women folk and penetrate deep into the minds of women in her fiction. Bapsi Sidhwa's brilliant grasp of the diaspora of Parsi community, her portrayal of inner psyche of the displaced people in Indian , Pakistani and American society are interesting aspects of this paper with focus on how these dislocation and cross cultures contours have affected the psyche of the characters. She has delineated their problems, dilemmas, nostalgia and aspirations in the Indian, Pakistani and American context. Her protagonists react to the outdated traditions and cultures, which tend to affect upon their lives. Sidhwa's protagonists specially the women have strength of their own and despite challenges and hostilities, they remain uncrushed. The paper is a modest attempt to underline the impact of cross cultural contours on the psyche and life of woman and redefine the role and status of women in the community and society. An attempt has also been made to discuss some of the main traits of culture and society and apply them to the fiction of Sidhwa
Language and Culture
Sometimes we observe that people sharing same culture speak different languages and contrariwise linguistic change is related to changes in other aspects of culture. The vocabulary of a language varies with culture.
Language is a part of culture. It is a capability acquired by man as a member of society. Sometimes we observe that people sharing same culture speak different languages and contrariwise, people whose languages are related may have very different cultures. In India Hindu and Muslim speak almost the related language but both have a very different culture. Similarly other sects of India like Buddhist, Zoroastrian, etc converse in Hindi language but their cultures are different. The Muslim, Hindu and Christian of Keral speak related language but their culture is different. The reverse situation - people speaking different languages but belonging to same culture. The Jain community of Maharashtra speaks Marathi, Jains of Gujarat speaks Gujarati, Jains of Andhra speak Telugu, Jains of Karnatak speak Kannad, while Jains of U.P., M.P., Bihar, and Rajasthan speak Hindi. Thus the entire Jain community of India has the same values of life, same eating habits, customs and traditions and a set disciplined life. Thus linguistic and culture areas denies the preposition that language is part and parcel of the culture tradition.
We have done detail studies of speech communities on ordinary everyday conversational material which include both linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of culture and the ways in which linguistic change may be specifically related to changes in other aspects of culture. As we know, the vocabulary of a language varies in response to cultural change.
The cultural predicament of Indian women in society and literature
Indian women's predicament in society and their depiction in literature have been juxtaposed both in theory, practice and perceptions of new methodology and strategies in feminist narrative practice and their subversions in psychosexual and social constructs.
The research paper probes into Indian women's predicament in South Asian society with respect to the issue of migration and diasporic consequences in the framework of contact linguistics and aims at their depiction in literature both in theory and practice, fact and fiction, reality and myth.
The analysis leads to women writers' perceptions of new methodology and strategies in feminist narrative practice and their subversions of their resolutions to the ways of writing beyond the traditional ending critically evaluating and resolving key issues. Should the women willingly surrender and sacrifice their individual quests in favor of love or marriage? Or is it just a strategy of female subversion against the established dominant norm? Do they envision in their female-centered fiction alternate female strategies, protest, challenge bondages or marital ties in psychosexual and social constructs? Does that articulate dissenting or alternative prescriptions of womanhood in Indian cultural context? Do they really commit to the feminist cause? Do such tendencies become a feminist interpretative exercise as a 'separatist feminism' or 'a radical outcry against marriage' or as a displaced fashionable stance, an obsession with women rather than a constructive culture sensitive process of social change and personal growth? Does it achieve their objective in achieving self-realization,self-expression,self-fulfillment,self-definition,self-actualization, self emancipation.
The journey to self hood and the freedom constitutes the burden of the female experience that eventually "becomes a cultural motif" in society is under scrutiny and the resolution and resurrection finally achieved in and through society and literature .
Reflections of Shifting Cultural Paradigms in Arvind Adiga's 'The White Tiger'
Adiga provides a scintillating portrait of India's class struggle in globalized world and portrays Indian landscape with the concern for the outcast and the despised. The caste system in India as an offshoot of socio-cultural set up bears a testimony to radical changes in society and culture.
The scenario in The White Tiger is dominated by the globalized world dominated by sudden splurge of technology and the presence of an American atmosphere in India and highlights the strife between the 'global' and 'rural' India, the upper and lower classes and the resultant dichotomy and points to the offshoots of democracy-booth rigging, murders, sabotage, political deterioration. The paper discusses Adiga's approach towards certain important social and political issues and their ultimate connotations with the cultural framework of contemporary India. The protagonist, Balram Halwai, as an omniscient narrator, narrates the story of his life in a letter addressed to the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao and stands out truly as a symbol of white tiger signifying power, freedom and 'individuality' as he works his way out of his low social caste and overcomes the social obstacles and eludes the 'rooster coop'.The caste system though mild in the urban India has strong roots in rural India beside traditional caste system and two more castes of the haves and have-nots. Balram educates the Chinese Premier about the corruption and immoral ways of India's caste system and its economic gap. Written in the dark tone and devoid of pangs of Balram's guilt over committing a gruesome crime,Adiga subtly dramatizes conflict resulting from the individual interest and social commitments. Indian culture acclaimed for ethical and moral values succumbs to materialism and rampant corruption that has taken its toll and morality has taken a deep plunge
Effect of culture and society on language
In India English gradually came in to contact with various culture with the result a number of local varieties of English were produced which were used as second language. A field work is done in sociolinguistic constructs on varieties of English spoken in India.
The Indians accepted the language of British in their typical way, they "accultured" it. Consequently cultural features were reflected in it. The language gradually came into contact with various culture with the result number of local varieties of English were produced which were used as second languages. In their almost 200 years stay, the British used their language with the Indians. In this period English in India slowly went through a process of change that we label Indianization and evolved into a variety, which we term "Indian English". There is no one "Indian English". A German Linguist, Hugo Schuchardt (1891) divided it into five types: Butler English, Pidgin English, Boxwallah English, Cheechee English, Baboo English.
In Madhya Pradesh, Hindi and English are most extensively used, their use being motivated by social, cultural, and economic factors. For the purpose of survey the native speakers of Hindi are chosen. For the convenience of analysis and discussion the sociolinguistic constructs, the concepts of 'recurrent domains' (Pride1971) and 'situations' (Firth1957) are employed. The survey carried out by Schuchardt is valuable but it does not fully capture the entire complexity of languages spoken. An in-depth study is done on the impact of culture and society on language with special reference to English spoken in India.
SOCIO CULTURAL CONCIOUSNESS IN THE NOVELS OF BHARTI MUKHERJEE
In 20th century socio-cultural consciousness has received a powerful impetus. Bharti tells the tales of her own experience to demonstrate the changing shape of American society thorugh the clash of cultures and ensuing dilemmas.
Bharti Mukherjee in her novels writes about her own reality. The immigrant preoccupations are her own. Central to all her writings are the people caught in migration cycle. They are nostalgic about their home, but when they return it's not the same. Mukherjee's perspective is perspective of 21st century. The immigrant reality is so intense that she does not needs any embellishments. Her characters are intimate, sometimes aggressive yet endearing and very close to heart. She is intrigued by the marginal figures as well, and they also find space in her novels.
The present study will try to evaluate the evolved socio-cultural consciousness of North American and South Asian communities, as emerged in the novels of Bharti Mukherjee. She depicts the clash of cultures and ensuing dilemmas.
The paper intends to highlight the cultural hybridity and the acceptance of a new socio-cultural environment, as best seen in her novel JASMINE. Mukherjee has not only focused her attention on Indian roots but has also shown concern about people of Indian heritage in many diverse cultures like Italian, American, Iraqi, and Vietnamese. Socio-cultural theories state that our cognitive development processes, learning processes are merely products of our society and culture. Dissimilar cultures have different systems containing beliefs, values, manners, normative behavior and practices.
Thus, the present study tries to bring forth all the pivotal issues raised by Bharti Mukherjee. The focus of the paper will be on immigrant psyche and sensibility.
Language, Culture and Society
India is the most linguistically diverse country in the world. In terms of social complexities and cultural diversities, India is more than a state, larger than a nation and bigger than a country.In this context we have studied 'Hinglish', mixture of Hindi-English language.
India is racially, culturally, linguistically, ethnically and religiously the most diverse country in the world. Language is more than just a means of communication. It influences our culture and even our thought processes. Culture is an integral part of society and it decides, in most of the cases, behavior of a man. It also determines man's attitude towards world, nature and God.
Language, Culture and Society are closely related. "Culture" means a complex collection of knowledge, language, rules, rituals, habits, beliefs, and customs that link and give a common identity to a particular group of people which is reflected in the language. Cultures change over time, though the change is sometime very slow and imperceptible. But the changes can be seen. A common way to greet people was Ram-Ram or Namaste, which later changed to Hello and Hi. Similarly one can see change in society too. "ATHITI DEVO BHAV" [guest is God] was written on the entrance of every Indian house, which later became "WELCOME" and now we can see a board " Be aware of dogs". In India a new kind of language is emerging which is neither Hindi nor English but we can call it Hinglish .i.e. Hindi-English mixed language. Let us see how much Hinglish is acceptable in our society. But the youth is Loving it.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.