Bollywood's soft power: Branding the nation, sustaining a meta-hegemony
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© 2016 Intellect Ltd Article. English language. I present my theory of a 'meta-hegemony' to examine the hierarchy of dominance in Indian cinema. This concept asserts that Bollywood dominates Indian cinema and culture whilst being subservient to a larger global Hollywood hegemony. I will investigate the meta-hegemony's three distinctive facets within the internal contours of Indian cinema. The first feature is Bollywood's monopoly over the Indian film industry's modes of production, distribution, exhibition and capital generation. The second is Bollywood's ideological propagation of a post-globalization master narrative through its role as national cultural signifier of India's neo-liberal turn. The third facet of the meta-hegemony is Bollywood's validation by the state as an instrument of soft power signifying Bollywood's branding as national and global commodity. In the process, I posit the emergence of a New Wave of independent Indian cinema as a counter-narrative to Bollywood's articulation of consumer capitalism. Ultimately, I argue that Bollywood's brand of soft power is indexical of India's transition to neo-liberalism and indicative of the nation's agonistic arbitration between the traditional and the material.
- Film Studies