Channel surfing on morning television in India—a truly bewildering experience given there are now 800 plus channels and rising—involves navigating a mix of news and sports channels, children’s shows, cookery shows, soaps, nature documentaries, consumer-advice programmes, and the odd reality TV and Western-style breakfast show.
‘The role of lifestyle television in transforming culture, citizenship and selfhood: China, Taiwan, Singapore and India’.
Funded by the Australian Research Council 2010-2013: DP1094355
How can we understand the recent appearance of an Indian version of MasterChef, home renovation shows like 交换空间 (Swap Places) in China, personal makeover shows like Style Doctors in Singapore, and beauty and fashion advice TV like 女人我最大 (Queen) in Taiwan? This research project sees lifestyle advice programming as a barometer of broader cultural changes currently transforming social life in Asia. In such programs, entertainment media addresses itself in a uniquely direct way to the everyday practice of ordinary social life: these programs are etiquette manuals for the 21st century. We are interested in what the rise of such programming can tell us about broader shifts in contemporary Asian societies in relation to identity, culture and citizenship.