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Traveling Barbie: Indian Transnationality and New Consumer Subjects

Traveling Barbie: Indian Transnationality and New Consumer Subjects positions 7: 3 hailed by it. T h e failure of new products on the market certainly suggests such possibilities; people d o not buy indiscriminately. Why some products sell and some do not suggests important issues of culture, identity, and subjectivity. Resistance to multinationals in India comes from different locations and cannot be seen as always subversive to dominant formations; such resistances are also recuperated by the multinational companies. Whereas parties on the left have been organizing opposition to multinationals, so that it is clear that the Indian central government’s support of open markets is opposed at many levels, resistance also comes from religious fundamentalist groups such as the RSS (the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Hindu right-wing party), who in the struggle for political power use the example of multinationals as the “American” threat to national sovereignty. Other kinds of resistance appear in the obsession with ethnic chic,2 for instance, or the recuperations of “tradition” by various entities. My analysis of the marketing of Rarbie in India suggests both the subversions and the recuperations that occur in the formation of new consumer subjects. In a context of localization through transnational formations, it is important to note that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Traveling Barbie: Indian Transnationality and New Consumer Subjects

positions asia critique , Volume 7 (3) – Dec 1, 1999

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1999 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-7-3-799
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

positions 7: 3 hailed by it. T h e failure of new products on the market certainly suggests such possibilities; people d o not buy indiscriminately. Why some products sell and some do not suggests important issues of culture, identity, and subjectivity. Resistance to multinationals in India comes from different locations and cannot be seen as always subversive to dominant formations; such resistances are also recuperated by the multinational companies. Whereas parties on the left have been organizing opposition to multinationals, so that it is clear that the Indian central government’s support of open markets is opposed at many levels, resistance also comes from religious fundamentalist groups such as the RSS (the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Hindu right-wing party), who in the struggle for political power use the example of multinationals as the “American” threat to national sovereignty. Other kinds of resistance appear in the obsession with ethnic chic,2 for instance, or the recuperations of “tradition” by various entities. My analysis of the marketing of Rarbie in India suggests both the subversions and the recuperations that occur in the formation of new consumer subjects. In a context of localization through transnational formations, it is important to note that

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 1999

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