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Communication, Culture and Confrontation

Communication, Culture and Confrontation

Edited by:
  • Bernard Bel - French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Jan Brouwer - Centre for Advanced Research on Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Mysore
  • Biswajit Das - Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  • Vibodh Parthasarathi - Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  • Guy Poitevin - Late of Centre for Cooperative Research in Social Sciences, Pune

December 2009 | 500 pages | SAGE India
The third and final volume in the series on Communication Processes, Communication, Culture and Confrontation is a bold attempt at breaking conceptual and methodological impasses which stifle communication studies. Departing from established frameworks and dated technological metaphors such as 'transmission', the present volume explores and analyzes different forms of communication media in relation to the cultural configurations and contending forces that permeate them.

Positioned at the interface of culture and communication studies, the discourse in the book engages with multiple voices, bringing together academic scholars and grassroot social animators. Exploring seven different popular cultural forms, such as rituals, songs, narratives, calendar art, pamphlets, and so on, through 18 case studies, it goes on to suggest a complex model of communication. In this framework, cultures cannot be viewed as items exchanged in the hegemonic space of global communication. Cultural configurations display themselves as 'evolutive' forms of social communication that weave human beings into collectives and bind these collectives with one another—all permeated with the power parameter. Cultures 'perform' viable collectives when they come to be apprehended in a field of contending forces: a milieu of exchange, encounter, confrontation and possibly conflict.

This volume will be invaluable for students of communication, culture studies, sociology and journalism.

Introduction: Remoulding the 'Cultural' as the 'Contentious' Bernard Bel, Jan Brouwer, Biswajit Das, Vibodh Parthasarathi, Guy Poitevin
I: CONFLICTING STAKES: Introduction Editors
From the Popular to the People Guy Poitevin
Interventionist Tendencies in Popular Culture Vibodh Parthasarathi
The Indian Legal System: A Unique Combination of Traditions, Practices and Modern Values Karine Bates
II: POWER OF ORALITY: Introduction Editors
Terrains of Rejuvenation  
The Donkey: A Mirror of Self-identification Guy Poitevin
Memory and Social Protest Badri Narayan
Say It in Singing! Prosodic Patterns and Rhetorics in the Performance of Grindmill Songs Bernard Bel, Geneviève Caelen-Haumont and Hema Rairkar
Assets of Dissent  
Grindmill Songs: A Reference of Autonomous Self-insight Hema Rairkar
From Grindmill Songs to Cultural Action Tara Ubhe
A Reactivated Performance Capacity Kusum Sonavne
Scenarios of Stress  
Folk Arts and Folk Artists: Myths and Realities P J Amala Dos
Scenarios of Appropriation  
Resisting Colonial Modernity Premchand's Rangabhoomi and Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay
Street Theatre in Maharashtra Hema Rairkar
Action Theatre in Belgium Paul Biot
Intruding Orders  
Ephemera, Communication and the Quest for Power: Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh Jayati Chaturvedi and Gyaneshwar Chaturvedi
The Ritual Management of Desire in Indian Bazaar Art Kajri Jain
Contending Idioms  
On the Way to Pandhari Jitendra Maid and Guy Poitevin
The Famous Invincible Darkies Denis-Constant Martin
Epilogue Editors  

The volume which assembles a wide range of scholarly works that posit problematic yet convincing arguments towards a complete understanding of the concepts of culture, communication, and conflicts would be a useful resource for students and scholars of contemporary politics, media and society.

The Book Review

This well-researched third volume in the series coming after the first two whose focus has been on the media, techniques and relations of communication is a good reference book for not only students pursuing disciplines of sociology, communication arts and culture but also to the faculty involved in teaching these subjects.


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Bernard Bel

Bernard Bel is a research engineer currently working at Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Université de Provence, a speech research laboratory of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris. Earlier, he was a member of the Groupe Intelligence Artificielle, Marseille II University. Between 1994 and 1998, he was deputed to Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi, to carry on projects in musicology and sociocultural anthropology. He has published numerous articles on both subjects and is currently involved in social activism for an improvement of birth practices in French-speaking countries, both as the webmaster of the... More About Author

Jan Brouwer

Jan Brouwer recently retired as Professor of Cultural Anthropology from the North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong. He is presently Professor of Anthropology at the University School of Design, University of Mysore and Honorary Director at the Centre for Advanced Research on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CARIKS), Mysore. He has many published works to his credit and is currently working on the concept of autonomy and death as a social relation. More About Author

Biswajit Das

Biswajit Das is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He has over two decades of teaching experience and specialized research in communication studies, during which he was also a visiting fellow at the Universities of Windsor, Canada and Hawaii, USA. His research has been supported by various foundations and institutions in India and abroad such as Indo-French Scholarship, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies and the Charles Wallace Trust. More About Author

Vibodh Parthasarathi

Vibodh Parthasarathi, an independent communication theorist and policy consultant based in New Delhi, maintains an interest in the political economy of communication and comparative media practice. His work has gained support from the Charles Wallace India Trust, Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation, Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, India Foundation for the Arts, and the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. He has also taught at government and private universities in India, besides dabbling in documentaries. ‘Crosscurrents—A Fijian Travelogue’, his last documentary, explored the many faces of ‘reconciliation’ after the decade of coups... More About Author

Guy Poitevin

Guy Poitevin (1934–2004) was born in Mayenne (France). After studying to become a priest and graduating in philosophy and theology, he taught for twelve years in a seminary in Western France. He settled in Pune in 1972 and later became a naturalized Indian citizen. Along with his wife Hema Rairkar, friends and associates, he set up the Village Community Development Association (VCDA, ttp:// in 1978 to support socio-cultural action in remote rural areas, and the Centre for Cooperative Research in Social Sciences (CCRSS, in 1980 for the purpose of carrying out theoretically related activities. Besides numerous... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789352809660

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