Virtual Darshan

Social networking and virtual communities in the Hindi film context

Authored by: Steven Baker

Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  April  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415677745
eBook ISBN: 9780203556054
Adobe ISBN: 9781136772849


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The affinity between the star and the public is an important area of research in the arena of Indian cinema. In preceding decades, the star-audience relationship primarily operated through traditional print forms and the medium of television and radio, with earlier media investigation focusing on the study of these agents (Dyer 1998, 2004). Other areas of prior research include analysis of fan clubs devoted to the Indian cinema star, such as Dickey’s (1993) study of fan communities within the Tamil film industry. In recent years, an additional pattern of communication has emerged, with the arrival of social networking sites (SNSs). Although Boyd and Ellison identify 1997 as the year in which the first SNS was launched with the ‘friendship’ site SixDegrees (Boyd and Ellison 2007: 1), it was not until 2003 that a critical mass, or tipping point, 1 was reached with their accession to mainstream cultural currency in the West (Gladwell 2000: 7), and at a more recent juncture, in India.

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