09. Characterising Family Culture: Inside the Asian Family Space with Channel 4’s The Grewals
Dr Sarita Malik (Brunel University)
This paper was presented at a panel on 'Citizens of Plural Worlds: Family and Nation in the Age of Globalisation' at the SCMS Conference in New Orleans on 12 March 2011.
This paper examines the degree to which reality television can be said to represent the reproduction of democracy through its media platforming of ordinary, diverse citizens. It discusses Channel 4’s production The Grewals, broadcast in Britain in 2009. The ‘fly-on-the-wall’ documentary traces the trials and tribulations of the extended British-Indian family as they experience everyday life and family milestones including a wedding and birth. The reality series has been acclaimed as a, “seminal moment in the diversity history of Asian representation and in general of ethnic minority representation”. The series’ combination of particularity (the specific situation of a Jat-Sikh, British, Indian family) and universality (the main themes being centred on love, marriage, and family relationships) have also been praised by journalists and audiences.
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Filed Under: Citizens of Plural Worlds, SCMS Conference Panel