Mediated modernities: (Meta)narratives of modern nationhood in Indian and Pakistani media, 1947–2007

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This article proposes a theoretical framework for understanding modernity as lying at the intersection of two dimensions: (1) the narrative of modernity as interpreted variously in particular nations and (2) the metanarrative of modernity as a universal goal that nations tend to share. It demonstrates that interpretations of modernity vary among nations, and even within nations over time. But modernity in former European colonies is nonetheless an ideological construct that seeks validation from the West. News media, this article shows, constitute a vital mechanism through which both the narratives and the metanarrative of modernity become collective. The media naturalize particular interpretations of modernity while also making ‘becoming modern’ a necessary objective of nationhood in non-Western societies. Empirical evidence comes from the comparative study of India’s Hindustan Times and Pakistan’s Dawn newspapers over a 60-year period (1947–2007) after the two nations gained freedom from British colonialism, using Derrida’s method of deconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-166
JournalGlobal Media and Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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