Synopses & Reviews
A leading Bombay advertising agency justifies as traditionally Indian the highly eroticized images it produces to promote the KamaSutra condom brand. Another agency struggles to reconcile the global ambitions of a cellular-phone service provider with the ambivalently local connotations of the clientandrsquo;s corporate brand. When the dream of the 250 million-strong andldquo;Indian middle classandrdquo; goes sour, Indian advertising and marketing professionals search for new ways to market andldquo;the Indian consumerandrdquo;andmdash;now with added cultural differenceandmdash;to multinational clients.
An examination of the complex cultural politics of mass consumerism in a globalized marketplace, Shoveling Smoke is a pathbreaking and detailed ethnography of the contemporary Indian advertising industry. It is also a critical and innovative intervention into current theoretical debates on the intersection of consumerist globalization, aesthetic politics, and visual culture. William Mazzarella traces the rise in India during the 1980s of mass consumption as a self-consciously sensuous challenge to the austerities of state-led developmentalism. He shows how the decisive opening of Indian markets to foreign brands in the 1990s refigured established models of the relationship between the local and the global and, ironically, turned advertising professionals into custodians of cultural integrity.
andquot;Theoretically ambitious and yet firmly grounded in the concrete, William Mazzarella's brilliantly imaginative ethnography of advertising and consumer practices in India ranks among the very best of globalization studies. Students of global forms of modernity will have much to learn from this book.andquot;andmdash;Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies
andquot;Shoveling Smoke is an extremely rich ethnography. One of the first anthropological studies of advertising in India, it is a truly pioneering piece of work.andquot;andmdash;Purnima Mankekar, author of Screening Culture, Viewing Politics: An Ethnography of Television, Womanhood, and Nation in Postcolonial India
Includes bibliographical references (p. -349) and index.
"Theoretically ambitious and yet firmly grounded in the concrete, William Mazzarella's brilliantly imaginative ethnography of advertising and consumer practices in India ranks among the very best of globalization studies. Students of global forms of modernity will have much to learn from this book."--Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of "Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies"
An inside look at the creation of several ad campaigns in the major Bombay ad agency and what they say about Indian national identity.
About the Author
William Mazzarella is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.
Table of Contents
1. Locations: Advertising and the New Swadeshi 3
2. Elaborations: The Commodity Image 37
3. Citizens Have Sex, Consumers Make Love: KamaSutra I 59
4. The Aesthetic Politics of Aspiration: KamaSutra II 99
5. Bombay Global: Mobility and Locality I 149
6. Bombay Local: Mobility and Locality II 185
7. Indian Fun: Constructing andquot;the Indian Consumerandquot; I 215
8. Close Distance: Constructing andquot;the Indian Consumerandquot; II 250
Works Cited 331