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Sundar on “The Time of Television”


Pavitra Sundar
Pavitra Sundar

An article co-authored by Assistant Professor of Literature Pavitra Sundar was published online in the journal Communication, Culture & Critique. “The Time of Television: Broadcasting, Daily Life, and the New Indian Middle Class” was written with Aswin Punathambekar of the University of Michigan.

The article focuses on the first sitcom developed in India, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (Such Is Life), to develop a temporal framework for analyzing television’s role in shaping the formation of a new and powerful urban middle class in 1980s India.

The authors argued that broadcast television synchronized the rhythms of daily life to its schedules and recast the daily lives and experiences of the middle classes as ordinary, relatable and achievable.

Sundar and Punathambekar noted that shows from the 1980s, “the time of television” in India, “offer a rich set of imaginative resources for remembering life in urban India at the time.”

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