Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things Have Changed

The article by Ghosh was very interesting in its analysis of advertising trends surrounding Indian culture and society. One thing that stood out for me, though, was the fact that, at least from what I have seen, the portrayals have significantly changed since whenever this article was written. The first example that popped into my head was that of the stern patriarch who establishes strict rules for the family and high expectations for the son/s. Ghosh did not mention this now common stereotype that I think reigns supreme over most others, nowadays.

I also thought of this MetroPCS advertisement, however, because every time I see it on TV I can only think of how blatantly racist it is. I feel that the developers of the ad would contend that they are actually breaking away from the common stereotypes (strict doctors or turban-wearing cab drivers [I found that, at least in Chicago, most cab drivers were from Africa]) by featuring the eccentricities of these two men. This doesn't work for me for a few reasons.
1. They have extremely thick Indian accents: This is one area of Indian culture that media definitely plays up as a humorous object (listen to their accents! they're so goofy!)
2. They have facial hair and the sort of stiff look that are often presented as Indian traits
3. They are advertising TECH: This just fills in the newer stereotype of Indian workers as people who are inherently good with technology (outsourcing)

At the end of her argument, Ghosh asks for a change in media that recognizes the "poly-religious, polyglot amalgamation of principalities." I feel that, due to political and world events, this change actually has come, but it has simply changed to a new form of racism that fits more along with the black, asian, and hispanic portrayals in media. By that I mean, the media recognizes a demand/need to represent Indian culture physically, so new stereotypes have been adopted.

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