Issue 18.1, February 2003

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Essay Excerpt

"An executive from the Indian advertising agency Mudra remarked to a busi- ness journalist, "Only advertising that has an Indian soul and |an] international feel will work in the marketplace of tomorrow'" (Arathoon 1996). 1 came across these words in the autumn of 1997. as 1 was beginning the major part of my fieldwork. 1 had come to study Bombay advertising professionals as cul- tural brokers, as mediating players in the game of globalization. The scrupu- lous symmetry of the executive's statement was immediately reminiscent of some of the phrases that I had imbibed during the preceding years as a graduate student. Globalization—insofar as the term referred to something that could be generalized—was, in Roland Robertson"s words, "the twofold process of the particularization of the universal and the universalization of the particular" (Jameson 1998:xi). the key issue of the age was "the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization" (Appadurai 1996:32)."

"'Very Bombay': Contending with the Global in an Indian Advertising Agency" by William Mazzarella