New Media and Cultural Hybridisation. A Study on the Influence of New Media Technologies on the Youth of Silchar, India

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2019

163 Pages







List of Tables

List of Figures

Chapter I: Introduction
Exploring Hybridity
Hybridity: metaphor and reality
Tracing Hybridity
Hybridisation in Post Colonial Era
Hybridity and Indian Nation
New Media Embarking into New Era
Types of Convergence
Effects of Convergence
A Changing System in Internet Age
Convergence Culture
New Media and A Hybrid Culture
The Internet Driven Mediated Communication
The New Media and Culture
The New Media and Personal Relationships
The New Media and Consumer Trends
The Future of New Media and Social Communications and Its Impact on Culture
Rationale behind the Study:
Statement of the Problem
Significance of the Study

Chapter II: Review of Literature

Chapter III: Objectives, Research Questions & Methodology
Operational Definitions
Objectives of the Study
Research Questions
Research Design
Sampling Universe
Sample size
Data Analysis
Simple Regression Analysis
Limitations of the methodology
Measures and Independent Variables
Dependent variables

Chapter IV: Findings & Analysis of Data
Analysis and interpretation of Research Questions
Chapter V: Conclusion
Major findings of the study
Discussion and conclusion
Limitations of the present study and recommendations for future research





At the outset I would like to place on record the invaluable contributions made by my supervisors who did everything to make sure that I could complete the journey of my research work right from the conception of the topic to its completion. Today I feel short of words to covey my deepest gratitude towards our HoD and my supervisor Prof. (Dr). G.P Pandey, my co-supervisor Dr. Charvak, Associate professor, former supervisors Dr. Raghavendra Mishra and late Dr. Ayiriddhi Bhattacharjee, all of whom have immensely influenced my passage in the realm of doctoral research. I would also like convey my heartfelt thankfulness towards my teachers in the department of Mass Communication, Assam University who persisted with me in my highs and lows.

I will be guilty if don't acknowledge following people who have helped me out in many ways during my research period: Dr. Apratim Nag, Dr. Rajarshi Nath, Dr. Sandipa Das, Dr. Ratna Nath, Ms. Maitrayee Bhattacharjee, Mr. Pranabananda Das, Mr. Manish Pandey, Mr. Aditya Gogoi. I would be failing in my duty if I don't mention my friends who have been my support systems all throughout. The list is long but your contributions will always be acknowledged my dear friends.

My family has seen my highs and lows and they made it a point to pick me up whenever I was negative regarding my progress. My uncle (Kaku) persisted with me in my most testing times. I have no words to record my feelings for you all. Today I fondly remember and grieve the loss of my parents without whose blessings I could never be what I am today.

A special word of thanks to my former and present colleagues at Eastern Chronicle, Dainik Jugasankha, Saint Claret College, Arunachal Pradesh and Chaiduar College, Gohpur for their inspiration and motivation.


In this age of New Media it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between virtual and real these days. With the burgeoning of technology enabled communication, interactional transactions have become heavily dependent and concentric upon webbed web. Be it social, political or cultural- every aspect of contemporary human sustenance has gone for a toss and a state of interweavements has been attained. In the present day a gamut of digital communication, online tools, applications and technologies have become part and parcel of everyday affairs and even more so in the realms of communication. It is quite obvious that new communication networks empowered with digital technologies and internet are foremost tools which have enabled the enterprise of completely new representation of information production and dissemination, cultural production, management and control. The topic of this research work propose to understand the impact of New Media Technologies on the undergraduate students of a urban area of North East India, to probe if these technologies are having any cultural implications in terms of juxtaposition of multiple cultures. The thesis argues that New Media Applications have brought in a sense of hybrid culture among the youth by affecting the perception and consumption of cultural indicators among college goers.

Key Words: New Media, Hybrid Culture, Youth

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New media enable new cultures to transform society. Now that the process has accelerated to the point where it is visible on a daily basis, most people understand that new communication media mean new ways of life. Indeed, it is now possible to see how new ways of creating and distributing symbols have made it possible throughout history for people to change existing cultural practices, and through these changes in the way people socialize, to transform societies. -Howard Rheingold (Krekovic, 2003)

Lindgren (2013) in his edited book ‘Hybrid Media Culture: Sensing Place in a World of Flows' states that it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between virtual and real these days. With the burgeoning of technology enabled communication, interactional transactions have become heavily dependent and concentric upon webbed web. Be it social, political or cultural- every aspect of contemporary human sustenance has gone for a toss and a state of interweavements has been attained. In the present day gamut of digital communication, online tools, applications and technologies have become part and parcel of everyday affairs and even more so in the realms of communication.

It is quite obvious that new communication networks empowered with digital technologies and internet are foremost tools which have enabled the enterprise of completely new representation of information production and dissemination, cultural production, management and control.

The topic of this research work proposes to understand the impact of New Media Technologies on the undergraduate students of a urban area of North East India, to probe if these technologies are having any cultural implications in terms of juxtaposition of multiple cultures.

India being a country, rich in ideals and ideologies, values and culture, with the explosion of internet driven New Media in the century, the Indian society has witnessed a deep cultural penetration or 'invasion' of culture of other societies. The impact of this virtual medium has become so deep rooted in peoples' lives that in attendance, it is very much possible that it might have a profound effect on traditional culture and there is ample scope left for more. How peoples' insight of looking at their lives have changed after the emergence of this new medium in the country is quite interesting to be eligible for research. In this river valley also there is a considerable population which is exposed to an unprecedented infiltration of New Media technology or applications, and the people prefer accessing them regularly. The study is conducted with a view to see if the invasion of New Media has imbibed users to the things that are propagated through its contents in their own lives or youth just use New Media as a leisure activity.

Culture has a deep and wide role to play in one's life. The custom and cultural models of India revived back in India due to their portrayal in the traditional and old genres of media. Even the invasion of internet driven New Media in our day-to-day lives has resulted into to an imbalance between reality and traditional customs. Dramatised cultural implications as propagated by New Media might have a silent or public influence on peoples' culture, that too in a dramatic way. The study would help to analyse if residents of Silchar city, who are the loyal users of the technologies encompassed by New Media and its applications, are influenced by the cultural diffusion or ' invasion' as propagated by New Media.

Culture is,according to some popular schools of thought, ‘arts' and something relating to the domain of fashion while some other schools of thought define culture as life itself. James Carey (2003), a renowned communication scholar, tried to capture the expansive dimensions of culture in his book “A Cultural Approach to Communication”.

Carey deliberated as:

“We create, express, and convey our knowledge of and attitudes toward reality through the construction of a variety of symbol systems: art, science, journalism, religion, common sense, mythology. How do we do this? What are the differences between these forms? What are the historical and comparative variations in them? How do changes in communication technology influence what we can concretely create and apprehend? How do groups in society struggle over the definition of what is real?” (Carey, J. 2002)

Another prominent scholar in the realms of culture who also happened to be an Anthropologist, Clifford Geertz's definition of culture is: “an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and their attitudes toward life” (Asad,1983).

To explain this idea- knowledge which is transmitted across the timeline is nothing but culture. Culture is nothing but various approaches towards leading life which are articulated through a varied array of symbols.

If we try to get these explanations in a more simple way we can say that culture is articulated and shared values, beliefs, attitudes and practices of a social group, organization, or institution. It is OK if that still seems broad and fluid. Since ages, scholars from interdisciplinary fields have had tough time to define the term because the description of culture ought to be all-encompassing. The definition of culture is not very easy. It is an expression, many would agree, whose definition is ambiguous and hence a confusing term to explain.

Velkley (2002) explained the concept of "culture” akin to the development of the soul or mind. Culture acquired its modern, contemporary and recent meaning through writings of German scholars in the Eighteenth Century.

Although not explicitly expressed, the most of such writings indicated a see-saw relationship between "culture" and "civilization". Two major connotation of culture that emerged from this period in time were: culture as the deep rooted folk entity possessing a distinctive self, and culture as development of defiance or liberated individualism. The first import here leads in contemporary usage of the term "culture," even though the second meaning offers a significant context in assessing what people expect culture to achieve, for example liberated "expression" of the distinctive or "true" self.

There are varied schools of thought defining culture of community or race and the list of definitions never gets all inclusive. But generally, we refer culture as ' the way people of an area lead their life'. More specifically, the entities which define culture and its manifesto are the cultural indicators like languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, customs and every other thing has a different appearance location wise within boundaries of a nation. But the dawn of New Media led applications and their subsequent boom, off late has influenced most of it appreciably. Be it food, be it apparels or other associated characteristics of culture, New Media have altered age old beliefs, customs, traditions and behaviour.

In History, people have perceived of different timelines and eras where different transitions took place. Similarly, various cultural eras also existed in their full manifesto propagating unique and distinct phenomenon which have altered and influenced the chores of human civilisation. There have been a good number of varied approaches which are in exercise and they split the time into eras of cultural division. Let's assume that when a particular type of approach towards world appears via the means of technology and culture, the basic understanding of the concept ‘world' changes. It is pertinent to mention that in every cultural era there was no change in the character of what is truth. The only change that has occurred through various cultural timelines was altered approaches of denizens to make use of the technology which is available to make a better understanding of the world.

And what and which way this sense was chalked? It is very apparent for anyone to perceive that for a better understanding of Mass Media and Culture and the dynamics between the two, a clear and lucid idea about modernity and postmodern age is quintessential. These are the timelines where culture and technology interplayed beyond our imagination.

Exploring Hybridity

The concept of hybridity is in debate since Homi Bhabha (1994) authored his influential work The Location of Culture. in this era of globalization transformation in cultures is often equated as the hybridization. It has been essentially a post colonial term with rare occasions of broad discussion.

The notion of hybridity has deep roots with its counterpart: the purity. Hybridity can only be traced when purity is acknowledged. Transcending boundaries can only be aspired when existing boundaries are accepted, conforming to the subsistence of which is to be transcended. Every discipline which debates on hybridity has to define what it perceives to be pure at the first place. If there is nothing pure, the notion of hybridity becomes redundant. Ideologically, individuals and groups may perceive something as pure however epistemologically the idea of purity is never a useful term. Epistemologically purity has deep connections with racism and racial intolerance (Collins, 1998) . For long, power structures have used the notion of purity as a tool for suppression.

Now, we should acknowledge hybridity from three dimensions: First, how individuals and groups create and maintain uneven power relations with respect to purity and hybridity? Second, how hybridity deconstruct the perception of cultural purity? Third, how hybridity can act as a method for studying transcultural experience?

Hybridity, thus have become a useful discipline of research. But a few key questions associated it with must be answered first.

1. What leads to the phenomenon of hybridity and how space, market and power are instruments of bringing about the notion of hybridity?
2. What are the different categorizations of hybridity?
3. What are the various phases of it? Can these states be measured?

In an attempt to answer the aforesaid queries one has to segregate the entire process of hybridization into random events and highlight the elements which cause the ignition and maturity of the same. We can resort to Agency Theory here as hybridity is umbilical to creativity. Although, the notions of agency and creativity have been individualistic in nature with regard to identity and experience. This also underlines the heterogeneous nature of hybridity. Heterogeneity also poses hurdles when we are to examine the configurations which are fundamental to such processes.

Hence we must start with the analysis of individualistic practice of hybridization and contextual factors are to be analysed first. Prominent factors like space, power and market which in turn influences individual action are to be evaluated. Next we need depict the development and ensuing outcomes of individualistic practice of hybridization. Also there should be consideration regarding dialectical association in between individuals and the result of this process of individual hybridization where he or she engages creatively.

Hybridity: metaphor and reality

The notions globalization and hybridity are always inextricably connected, in terms of ambiguity, literally and metaphorically, explanatory and descriptive. Both these terms are popular across disciplines and efforts should be there to keep these seemingly merging concepts distinct for examination. Some serious questions that scholars pose are as: what cannot be called as globalization and when it started? In case hybridity, the question is which culture is san hybridity or whether original culture existed, ever?

The phenomena of cultural borrowing and cultural diversity are not exclusively restricted to the notion of ‘modernity'. We should also be mindful of the fact that if we associate Westernisation and modernization with globalization then we are losing on the fact that non-West cultures also have impact on the West. Thus we tend to overestimate the homogenous nature of Western culture(s). Orient cultures have influenced Europe till the 14th century and Western Hegemony is a 19th century phenomenon. Cultural diversity and ethnic diversity has been a global and historic phenomenon, which can even be traced in pre-industrial simple societies.

History is full with examples of plural societies namely the ottoman Empire, the Roman Empire, caste system in India to cite a few. Post colonial instances of cultural pluralism are Germany, Singapore, USA, Canada etc. Cultural exchanges have been a prominent feature in Western History, between Muslim and Jewish during Renaissance, between Protestants and Catholics during the course of Reform and many others.

It is pertinent to mention here the thought-provoking essay on Cultural hybridization by Peter Burke (2009). Despite written from an anthropological angle this essay ably captures the responses and situations of cultural contact which are hybrid in nature.

Tracing Hybridity

The term ‘hybrid' has origins in Botany and Biology. In Latin language the term means the issue of a docile sow and a wild hog. Oxford dictionary defines hybrid as ‘of human parents of different races, half-breed'. Metaphorically, the term refers to linguistic compositions occurring from different languages. Generically, the expression means anything which is made of heterogeneous elements. However, the term was in rare use till 19th century.

As per Robert J. C. Young (2005), the term hybridity was in use to indicate the cross bredding of people from varied races. And this reference hold ground since the second part of the 19th century. Meanwhile, the term acquired a negative undertone, referring to the assimilation of dissimilar genus that would effect in ‘impurity'. However, the term becomes ambiguous when we acknowledge the fact that mixed race people are the most beautiful (Young 1995, 16). The term came out of its biological coating to become a cultural phenomenon during the 19th century.

The notion of hybrid culture became an academic interest in early part of 20th century when it became a quest for varied disciplines, to be specific anthropology, history and sociology. In case of sociology and anthropology, research on urban migration referred to the term of hybridity. The term was used in 1920s by Robert Ezra Park to refer large scale invasion immigration from Europe. Georg Simmel and Alfred Sch€utz also defined immigrants as ‘marginal men' or ‘cultural hybrids' having two worlds, both of which will recognize him/her as outsider, thus making the connotation negative (Park 1974).

Gilberto Freyre, a sociologist and anthropologist gave cultural hybridity a positive connotation while refereeing to Brazil's colonial societies. In his depiction, different cultural and racial contributions in Brazil have contributed to a particular set of cultural ethos, both creative and harmonic social structures (Freyre 1987). Despite his views on racial differences as natural attitudes, character and habit Freyre, he asserted that hybridity is a sustainable outcome of economic, climatic and ecological adjustment. According to him, typical psychological and social relations in colonial agrarian societies gave birth to often contradictory but dynamic arrangements of social patterns. He went on to record that Portugese to be an outcome of racial and cultural mixing, specifically with Jews and Arabs.

The second factor that propagated cultural hybridization in Brazil was the Portuguese's ability to mobilize across Africa, America and Asia. Fernando Ortiz and Alejo Valmont (1904-1980) raised analogous arguments on Cuba (Ortiz 1947 ; Carpentier 2001).

Without explicit use of the term, anthropologists in Britain examined the phenomena of hybridization in mining towns in 1940s-1950s. These towns drew many people from across the periphery in search of occupations. Thus the anthropologists focused on various issues like industrialization, social movements, ethnicity and many analogous concepts.

Max Gluckman analysed the opening observance of a bridge as a hybrid mix of Western modernist approach and indigenous Zulu symbolism (Gluckman 1958) . On the other hand Claude Le'vi-Strauss conversed more abstractly on hybridity. Refereeing to mythology, he discussed about the role of animals, spirits and gods who could defy rules and set norms. He termed them as tricksters and jesters as mediators of opposing thoughts. He also talked about ‘bricolage', where a thing is moved out of its natural setting and customized to fit into a new environment (Levi-Strauss 1968) .

Britain based anthropologist Victor Turner talked about ‘liminality', a hybrid phase of ritual. Turner illustrated three states in rites of passage as separation, margin and aggregation. Separation referred to aloofness of an individual or group from a prior and earlier fixed social structure and cultural conditions. The third state aggregation completes the transformation where the ritual again becomes stable and structure. According to Turner, second state is ‘liminal', where the ritual is in an in-between state. Here the ritual does not adhere to the former and yet it is not matured to the later stage. The status of the ritual is ambiguous in this state. “Liminality,” as put by Turner, “breaks, as it were, the cake of custom and enfranchises speculation, giving a ‘certain freedom to juggle with the factors of existence' (Turner 1967, 106). Thus hybridity, is both creative and intimidating.

Mary Douglas perceived hybridity as an abomination as it was ambiguous, anomalous and ambivalent. Further, Douglas concludes that people who would think exchange as gain will be predisposed towards hybridity and whereas people of alternative views will cherish purity, refute exchange and refuse any mediation (Douglas 1975, 307) .

Since 1960s, hybridity began to look into places of exclusion and resistance. Pierre Bourdieu (Bourdieu 1984), Roland Barthes (Barthes 1972) and Mikhail Bakhtin (Bakhtin 1984) examined mass culture as inversions and subversive of authorized structures, high cultures, aesthetics and elites. Dick Hebdige (Hebdige 1979) examined these popular mix and inversions and described the bricolages of youth culture as hybrid in nature. According to him they are hybrid as they fuse and juxtapose elements of culture outside the domains of set narratives and thus challenge the authority. Christopher Dawson highlighted on contributions made by classical, Christian and ‘Barbarian' cultures to ‘the making of Europe' (Dawson 1932). Despite the fact that Dawson did not mention about the term hybridity, but his work can be referred to as an early work on cultural hybridization.

Hybridisation in Post Colonial Era

The notion of hybridity was repositioned in 1980s by the literary studies. Researchers namely Homi K. Bhabha, Edward W. Said and Gayatri Chakravorty were apprehended by the depiction of ‘the other' in literature. They debated that as every culture in the world has been touched upon by flow of signs, symbols, people and information, the culture today is of hybrid nature, setting up a platform of conflict between the identity and difference. Post Colonial scholars are thus, more interested in transformation than the roots, cherishing difference more than the ingenuity.

Mikhail Bakhtin, Russian philosopher and linguist, referred to hybridity in a philosophical perspective. As per Bakhtin, language can have dual voice even within parameters of a single sentence where one voice unmask and ironies the other voice. He cited The Letters of Obscure Men, a 16th century religious spoof to be a complex linguistic hybrid of German and Latin language. He termed it as ‘inter-illumination' of languages. As per Bakhtin, this inter-illumination reached its peak during Renaissance thus resulting creativity and innovation in literature. Bakhtin developed two ideas ‘polyphony' and ‘heteroglossia' which were key to his approach of dealing with hybridity. Here ‘heteroglossia' is the assortment of language within a single text; ‘polyphony' refers to the diverse voices espoused by people like Dostoyevsky (Burke 2009, 50-51).

Bakhtin also distinguished between organic and intentional hybridity. This distinction is useful in the sense that it saves hybridity from being tagged ‘as powerfully interruptive' and also placing it ‘as commonplace and pervasive' (Werbner 1997, 1). It also underlines the fact that both cultural transformation and resistance to it can exist together. Bakthin defines organic hybridization as unintentional, everyday fusion and mixing of different cultures namely language. These may produce productive cultural products as unaware hybrids ‘are pregnant with potential for new world views, with new internal forms for perceiving the world in words' (Bakhtin 1981, 360). This reference can be extended to greater society and culture in general as ‘despite the illusion of boundedness, cultures evolve historically through unreflective borrowings, mimetic appropriations, exchanges and inventions', as Pnina Werbner concludes as there ‘is no culture in and of itself' (Werbner1997, 4-5).

On the other hand, intentional hybridity results from conscious oppositions and contrasts where one voice is able to unveil the official discourse. In intentional hybridity, point of views are not fused but rather put against each other purposely. It can be used ‘to shock, change, challenge, revitalise or disrupt through deliberate, intended fusions of unlike social languages and images' (Werbner 1997, 5) thus forming ironical double perception, a fender-bender between diverse viewpoints on the world. In case of organic hybridity, the fusion mixes and is fused into a new scheme of things whereas intentional hybridity makes collision of diverse viewpoints in an opposing platform.

According to Young, Bakhtin's analysis provides an important model to study interaction of cultures. On the one hand organic hybrid inclines towards mixing while intentional hybridity offers contestation, often a politicized setup of differences in culture against one another in a dialogical manner (Young 1995, 22).

Homi Bhabha took forward the notion of intentional hybridity to subvert the authority to colonial texts. While interpreting colonial texts, Bhabha unveiled ‘the ambivalence at the source of traditional discourses of authority', where colonial authority finds it unable to maintain grip over meanings and is open to traces of other languages.

The brief journey of hybridity in the realm of humanities has transformed in a twofold way so far. It has moved beyond the territories of biology and has embraced more political and cultural meanings as proposed by Bakhtin in his linguistic model. In addition hybridity has come a long way to attain a more positive understanding among the masses shelving its prior negative connotation. It is pertinent to mention to mention that this transformation led to a situation of debated counter culture.

Hybridity and Indian Nation

The Indian nation is hybrid state - it deviates from its Western counterparts “in the importance it accords to ‘pre-modern' political forms . . . because they express different cultural values and traditions that form part of the cultural heritage.” (Mitra 1990b, 6). Indian nation has been a hybrid State since its beginning as the nation never had notions of multilingualism as people here have never been monolingual. The litterateurs here have been writing in various languages (The Hindu, 2015).

Indian society has been a complex one. Modern Indian society has been a result of the interaction between social and cultural elements and also the multifaceted Indian tradition which has now transformed into a global entity now. Mutual sense of integration and co­existence has made this civilization a unique experience which is unparalleled in the world. Indian nation has been a receiver of external influences and linkages and a notion of globalization has always been active. Migration and immigration has been a crucial agent in molding the population, civilization, culture and society. Instead of enormous diversity in culture there is increasing cultural convergence because of adaptive requirements on the part of people to deal with the emerging equations. In context of India, the dynamics of society and culture is an extremely intricate phenomenon. The transformations in Indian culture and society have been fueled by both endogenous as well as exogenous processes. Under the influences of modern West, Socio-cultural transformation in India started making its presence felt since the Nineteenth Century and this influence of West have had significant impact on county's culture and societal dynamics. Modernization both in terms of technology and culture were inducted into traditional Indian society came from West. In 20th century, Indian nation has also experienced powerful forces globalization too. Foreign groups like the Portuguese, the Arabs and the likes had close ties with Indian with regard to trades, business and other transactions. At a later stage, Euro-Americans and British influence made significant impact on Indian society. The transformation in Indian society can be described as a heterogeneous progression which triggered the present day globalization in this subcontinent. In this context a well versed idea regarding both Western culture and traditional Indian culture is essential to comprehend further discourse.

The cultural ethos in Indian society has been highly traditional compared to Western cultures wherein cultural values are strongly modern with reference to idealism, rationalism and utilitarianism. Western cultures also boasts of elements of universalism and egalitarianism dissimilar to that of Indian culture which values of holism and hierarchy. Western cultures pursue historicity in context of change compared to Indian notion of continuity and change. Western culture values individualistic approach against collective approach of Indian culture. Indian nation has been an example of cultural accommodation and synthesis between distinct culture in lieu of conflicts and contradictions. Traditional cultural institutions in India and more specifically religion have been a crucial agent in bringing about accommodation and adaptation between indigenous local and emerging global forces. Globalization has made significant impact on culture which is often complex to comprehend. The implications of globalization has both been hailed and criticized. The affluent and middle class sections have been the most benefitted lot out of globalization while periphery communities have become more marginalized due to globalization.

Globalization has not only touched upon people's lives but has also influenced Indian culture and society. Globalization of cultures has some unique characteristics. Global elements of culture have made appreciable impact on Indian people and consequently Indian elements of culture have spread globally. Consumerism, which has never been a part of traditional Indian society, has made inroads in the Indian society after globalization. Consumer goods are in high demand among elite and middle class Indians which together make up one third of the total population. The media also is spreading and popularizing a culture of consumerism.

Indian youth today is highly aware about changing fashion trends and multinationals and big brands are overtly passing on this consciousness via models and fashion shows published through the accepted channels of media. Indian cities, towns and urban centers today house ever increasing numbers of shopping malls and affluent sections of society see them as preferred buying destinations. Also shifts in patterns of entertainment and leisure activities have undergone alteration in recent times. The notion of socializing has undergone multifaceted shifts. Mass culture and popular culture has become dominant images and visuals across varied platforms of media. New age promotions and advertisements, irrespective of the medium through which they are rolled out, have turned out be very influential in the realm of culture. These new age promotions are influencing masses specially the younger generation. Most of contents in Indian media and entertainment landscape are far away from the real values of Indian society and culture. Promotion of newer elements of culture as perceived by media have influenced Indian notion of culture. The unimaginable growth in computer and IT industry has made internet communication accessible to a sizeable population of Indians for their varied aspirations and need. With the exponential rise in numbers of Smart phones, communication habits and processes of the people have also shifted prior bases.

Also noteworthy transformation in the arena of knowledge and education system has been noticed. This present-day worldwide epoch is also recognized as the age of information and knowledge. However, professionalism and business mentality have eclipsed the entire business of education.

A number of classical and traditional course and subjects have been discarded as out dated unappealing. Specifically the male learners are going for professional degrees eyeing for jobs, wealth and glamour. Meritorious students are running after management and technical courses. It is pertinent to mention that class and sander discrimination is often noticeable in the sphere of education. It can be seen that female learners are increasingly going for social science and humanities compared to boys pursuing management and technical courses. It can also be observe that the research works are downgraded and are almost of no use to the masses. Applied and action research are prioritized in planning and curriculum of education aimed at catering the needs of commercialization and industrialization. In last few decades privatization of education in the country has increased their by contributing a business platform for education.

The arena of sports and games is also affected by the forces of globalization. Local and indigenous games have vanished and are replaced by big money sports like cricket. The ensuing growth of Indian tourism industry can be credited to globalized market economy. Cultural tourism is a talked about approach for propagation and promotion of indigenous local culture but it can also lead to cultural hybridization. People whose habited are in and around tourist destinations can be seen as influences' of global tourist culture.

The affluent and middleclass have readily embraced Western styles of gritting and gift exchange, branded items as presents in various ceremonies and events have become common customs. Today youths celebrate birthday, anniversary of marriage and other social ceremonies as per Western way of celebration and these Westernized events have emerged to be most significant and note worth the event of today. University and college goers now-a-days celebrate Valentine's Day wherein exchange of gifts are perceived pivotal. Farther more, observation of father's day, teacher's day, mother's day have become immensely accepted where stress is on material gifts rather than emotional responsibilities and feelings.

Terminology of kinship has undergone continual change specifically among the affluent and educated strata of the Indian society. Western ways of addressing the kin have become most popular and common practice among urban classes.

Since time immemorial, Indian nation has been treasured as a land of rich food diversity. However junk food and fast food items have swept the Indian market. Readymade and ready to eat food items have become preferred choose of the masses specially youth. Carbonated drinks and beverages and other branded food items from reputed chains of food have become a rage among the Gen Y. Food habit centered around junk foods is on a rise and it can be said that globalization has made significant influence upon the food habits, fashion consciousness, methods of celebrations and life style as a whole.

Social and spatial mobility of Indian society have been enhanced by the globalizations and of course emergence New Media. As a result of this, joint family tradition in India has gone for a note worth a remodeling. Customs related the societal institutions like marriage practices have also become modernized. Despite all these transformation, Indian society, its basic character and societal institutions have not altered their basic essence. Association and kinship still today are the curtail pillars of persisting ‘collectivism' of Indian societies despite strong effluences of ‘individualism'.

Globalization has also anchorage the spreading of cultural elements of Indian society. Computer mediated communications enable the local communities to showcase their cultural practices and enhance their cultural contact with the globe. A modern day trend is cultural entrepreneurship in Indian nation where in entrepreneurs spared, maintain and market the cultural items and resources to the global market. As a consequence of this Indian version food, artworks, handicrafts and other cultural elements have carved a global niche for them. Today indigenous methods of healing medicines, exercise (yoga), songs dances and music have gained enormous popularity and acceptance among global audience. In this world of conflict and restlessness, Indian idea of ‘peace' and ‘non­violence' are increasingly getting worldwide recognition. Indian Hindi film industry or more popularly Bollywood become one of the greatest revenue generator are contributor in the global entertainment market. These days Indian film artists and experts from other entertainment fields have an attained international acclaim. Another new trend is global or international collaborations wherein artists from different nations come together to create artistic products of grate aesthetic value.

In addition to triggering influences' on cultural traditions and elements, globalization has also reinvented the notion of society and community in India precisely in urban and industrial setups. The rapid growth of mass society devoid of regional, cast, class and ethnic divisions have been out comes of ensuing globalization.

The rise of mass society has enabled the acceptances of mass culture favoring hybridization and homogenization of cultures. The traditional Indian societies are steadily obtaining the features of global societies. In addition a post global societal configuration is slowly but steadily rising among Indian elites and middleclass due to novel modes of social interaction networks, automated production, convergent communication and technocracy in societal stratification despite the fact that cultural globalization is fairly noticeable in India, still important elements of Indian society, custom and culture persist to coexist with the novel aspects of globalized culture. Influences of globalization of culture are evident in materiality and less overt in societal and religious elements of culture.

Most prominent instance of globalization can be cited as hybridization or Indianization of Western food items. In terms of societal context there is an increasing tendency of modernization of traditions and liberalization on orthodox practices. Today religious occasions have become more festive oriented in Indian nation. A growing trend of compartmentalization of attitudes and behavioral patterns of citizens for partaking in local and global processes to keep the traditions continues, is on a rise. Due to sturdy social and normative stands most of the traditional and ionizations cultural elements of Indian society have the might to preserve their identity and features. It is a significant observation that most of the cultural elements have undergone creative synthesis to adapt with changing circumstances. In addition to this it is an inimitable adaptive process. Many of the elements of cultural have made profound influences at the world arena due to their significance and value in the cotemporary times. The traditional and indigenous Indian institutions namely religion, marriage, relationship, cast and family and also the folk practices continue to delineate the spirit of receptive cultural lives of different groups and communities across the country. The influence of globalized culture can be felt at the surface level of Indian society. These indigenous and traditional institutions and their values as well as norms have the potential of protecting the basic essence of Indian culture and traditions.

It is a fact that traditional Indian culture is not the same as it used to be due to the impact of globalization and modernization. These changes did not totally replace the indigenous structures and traditional institutions, rather this societal and cultural elements have reveled amazing flexibility by undergoing re arrangement in structure so as to adopted changing circumstances.

Continuity and change has been a basic feature of culture and society in India and this holds true even in the current era of cultural globalization. Notions like civilisational and clash and cultural clash are not relatable in Indian context as Indian nation has a tradition of cultural synthesis of both new and old elements of culture. Convergence in divergence and unity and diversity has been basis of age old Indian civilization and tradition. In recent times the country has also seen a trend of protest culture or cultural politics. Globalization of culture has given rise to variations in cultural practice among Indians. As a consequence of this Indian society today flaunts a three-tier system of culture namely the traditional the elite and the mass. The traditional setup act as conservation and maintenance of traditions, the elite bows for formation of new practices and values and the mass one act as a platform of creolisation, synciretysation and most importantly hybridisation. Today modern Indian society stands as a hybrid of both global and traditional elements of culture. Cultural interaction between the local and global culture is a rising trend and reinforces the notion of glocalisation in Indian nation.

Hybridisation of culture is noticeably visible in every aspect of individual and societal life style. Hybridization of culture can be felt across food fashion celebration entertainment language education attitude and social behavior. A blending between the traditional and Western elements of culture has resulted in glocalisation. The notions of change in the community and community in the change have been rooted in Indian society and cultures which are still very potent in this post modern era of globalization of culture. Age old practices of Indian institutions, values, traditions promote a sensor of integration of culture.

Functional necessities on the part of people have brought in selective changes in Indian society and culture. Today borders of cultures are hazy and merging and Indian nation is no acceptation. Indian society and culture today neither act as a closed system of incorporated whole nor it is uniform among the participants of a cultural community and group. Today people are practicing many cultures of which summer own and summer foreign. Hence at this critical juncture elements of culture are crumbling in nature in terms with indigenous elements of traditions and customs of Indian nation. Hence the concept of hybridity of culture should re formulated and redefined.

New Media Embarking into New Era

Each cultural era is marked by shifts in technology and its applications. When radio came into the scene many said that newspapers will lose its relevance. Akin to this when TV made its entry, many thought it as nail in the coffins of Radio and Films. But till this day, all these have stood the test of time and are sustaining popularly. The coming up of newer technologies does not imply that older technologies will be out of use and will only be found in museums. The contemporary media consumers still read their preferred news, tune into radio channels, view TV and draw entertainment from movies. The only shift that can be seen now is the accessing all of these media contents in one single device. Earlier people used PCs to access these aforesaid contents and now Smartphones through Internet or New Media have replaced the PCs. Media convergence has made different technologies to come together and share resources, contents and tasks. A mobile phone can capture images and video and can be regarded as an example convergence of digital video and photography and mobile technologies. Another instance of convergence is news stories that are published for print and are also available on portals and websites or can be accessed through Apps using mobile phones.

Types of Convergence

Convergence does not alone include technological aspect. Eminent media philosopher Henry Jenkins did lots of voluminous work in the field convergence. Jenkins asserted that convergence does not necessarily mean output rather a process that alters patterns of media production and consumption. He categorised convergence into five distinct categories.(Jenkins, Ford and Green.2018)

1. Economic convergence is the parallel and straight down amalgamation of the amusement industry where a single media organisation has control and investment within and across different mass media platforms. For instance News Corporation owned by Rupert Murdoch owns a number of prominent newspapers namely The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post. His company also has investments in book publishing (HarperCollins), cable television (FX, National Geographic Channel), film (20th Century Fox), sports (the Colorado Rockies), broadcast television (Fox) and many others.
2. Organic convergence is human multitasking including technology. For example it is quite natural in contemporary world with diverse media content that a person while watching TV can also send email from phone or share pictures through messenger.
3. Cultural convergence encompasses a host of varied aspects. One such example can be same content which is served through different media platforms. For instance fictions that become film or movies (Two States or 3 Idiots), Radio Dramas turning into comic books (The Shadow) and going further where even Enjoyment Park rides turning into popular film franchises (Pirates of the Caribbean). The character of Harry Potter can be traced in amusement park rides, books, toys, films and candy bars. An additional characteristic of cultural convergence is contributory culture i.e the means through which media audience consumers interpret, provide feedback, upgrade, and just simply retort to culture in unique ways.
4. Global convergence transcends beyond geographic hurdles and physical limitations to make distantly located cultures to manipulate each other mutually. Nigerian Cinema industry “Nollywood” takes its inspiration from Bollywood in India which in turn took its cues from Hollywood in USA. Similarly DC cartoons and Marvel characters are popular across the globe. Hollywood blockbusters namely The Ring and The Grudge are remakes of successful Japanese flicks; the hit television show, “Indian Idol” was a remake of an American singing reality show which took the model from the original British show. The benefit of global convergence is that it provides a global access to a plethora of influential cultural products. Although some critics argue it to be a drawback as it brings in danger of cultural imperialism, proposed by scholar Herbert Schiller as the manner in which developing countries are “attracted, pressured, forced, and sometimes bribed into shaping social institutions to correspond to, or even promote, the values and structures of the dominating centre of the system.” It means that less dominant States will lose their indigenous cultures to more dominant States as dominant nation have an advantage of spreading their culture through media and other instruments. In addition, Cultural imperialism might be a recognized strategy or can take its course very delicately, as in the midst of the growing manipulation of external persuasion through popular mass media namely movies, television, movies and other cultural schemes.
5. Technological convergence is the process of unification of technologies. It happens when increasing number of varied media are changed into digital or virtual content, as Jenkins noted, “we expand the potential relationships between them and enable them to flow across platforms.” (Jenkins, 2001)

Effects of Convergence

Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a study in the year 2010 and asserted that American youths in the age range of 8 to 18 years spend around 7.5 hours daily with the electronic gadgets. One significant revelation was that through multitasking, they could compress the media activities or content of 11 hours into a span of 7.5 hours. These numbers are good indicators of how the new digital model of consumption of media works based on partaking and multitasking. (Ponder, 2015)

These days youth are not passive receivers of information in front of a screen rather they are multitasking various things simultaneously. They are in a relentless interaction with the culture they intake via various media outlets. They share news feeds in their SNS, write reviews about films and TV episodes watched online, text SMS to friends and chat with people in messenger, comment on online videos in YouTube and other websites. Because of convergence all these multitasking have become so much easy to use as. Because of convergence many devices have evolved which enable the users to play videos, games, music, write and reply to emails and browse the web all at the same time and on the same device. It is pertinent to mention that this concept of convergence is still new to audience and its implications on individuals, society and culture are yet to be assessed properly.

Steven Johnson in his book Everything Bad Is Good for You (Johnson, 2005), asserted that these days TV and video games have the potency to stimulate one's psyche. They create tests for learning; understanding and thinking thereby draw dynamic commitment on the part of the user and solving the problems. Steven is skeptical of critics who see newer technologies as threats to youth's rationality and amusingly triggered issues with book reading at the critics. He said it “chronically under stimulates the senses” and therefore “tragically isolating.” What is even shoddier, Jhonson pointed out books to “follow a fixed linear path. You can't control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you.. .This risk instilling a general passivity in our children, making them feel as though they're powerless to change their circumstances. Reading is not an active, participatory process; it's a submissive one.”( Johnson, 2006).

Nicholas Carr in a book, ‘The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains' (Carr, 2010) penned down more pessimistic account of New Media technologies. Carr expressed his worry saying that New Media technologies house an enormous arrangement of hyperlinked and interlinked information via internet which destroy attention time and make traditional brains distract from in depth, rational and cognitive commitment to intricate facts and opinion. He accounted his own sad version of how his reading habit has changed. “Once I was a scuba diver in a sea of words,” Carr ruefully said. “Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” 37 Carr further went on to cite Neuroscience discourses highlighting the fact that a person when up to more than one task, it amounts to divided attention to both and results in a careless output. To put his words in another way, we commit to poorer outputs when exposed to multitasking. Convergence is bringing in shifts in the way people relate to contemporary media irrespective of decisive cognitive, technological and social consequences.

In a Wire magazine write up, Jon Katz (1995) reflected that the avant-garde war compatriot Thomas Paine should be considered as “the moral father of the Internet.” Katz asserted that internet “offers what Paine and his revolutionary colleagues hoped for—a vast, diverse, passionate, global means of transmitting ideas and opening minds”. Further, according to Katz today's internet era is more closely connected to Eighteenth Century media domain that the Twentieth Century's old media (radio, television, print) fortitude. “The ferociously spirited press of the late 1700s.was dominated by individuals expressing their opinions. The idea that ordinary citizens with no special resources, expertise, or political power—like Paine himself—could sound off, reach wide audiences, even spark revolutions, was brand-new to the world.” (Streitmatter, 1998)

As we persist with our prologue on understanding dynamic relationship between media and culture, Katz's ardent guard to Paine's gutsy concept of self-determination harks back as how cultural values influence media. Paine's thought guided him to his published works and brochures that assisted to direct a new State. Since time immemorial, cultural values have been instrumental in the way people create, use and control media.

History has been witness to the fact that mass media and pop culture has umbilical association as the former induces and motivates intake of trends and new norms. Mass media can be referred to as “tastemakers”—individuals and organisations that influence the public thinking and ways of communication, food, dressing and others. Mass media's role as a gatekeeper can be retraced again in its role as tastemakers exerting big influence in the society and public sphere.

A Changing System in Internet Age

Reflecting in retrospect, the last century can be very aptly referred to as dream journey for a tastemaker. Choices of media were less in number then. A number of big cities and towns had just handful of television channels, newspapers, and dominant radio stations. Although media channels were less it provide critics, opinion leaders, advertisers had ample opportunity to have access to great number of audiences via limited numbers of mass media outlets. Meanwhile, towards the end of twentieth century ascend of cable TV and the New Media more specifically Internet had made the entire dynamics of taste making process a much more complicated entity.

The unprecedented rise of Internet has apparently eroded a few of the taste making influences of the long-established media platforms. Mass media have ceased to be only influential force in composing and propagating new trends. These days newer information can have global reach and access; even without having conventional media instruments. Amateur portals and websites draw more people than a major media platform today., a website dealing with music reviews always look for new changes in formats and contents, aggregates reviews from amateurs and professionals with same intensity, Yelp (a mobile application) enables users to go through individual reviews of an eating place as and when while they are in queue to enter inside. Blogs have turned out be exceptional virtual mechanisms driven through internet to reach millions of audience globally. Even popular and elitist bloggers have moved online while the majority of blogosphere public has been there without any organisational support. Perez Hilton, the celebrated gossip blogger had no prior formal journalism training when he started in 2005. ( within a span of few years had reached to millions of readers across the globe. Now-a-days, emails and instant messaging enable instantaneous transmission of messages and cues transcending geographical hurdles and constraints of time. Although individual communications have upheld their dominating status, there has been an unprecedented increase in usage of email and messaging for transmission of news and events. YouTube sensation Justin Bieber was roped in for contract by a major music label and Perez Hilton is regular feature on popular TV networks like VH1 and MTV. Superstars who came up through New Media platforms get readily absorbed into conventional media domain.

Convergence Culture

As already discussed we can assert that convergence can take up varied meanings and explanations. Convergence culture generally takes course of collision between and among Old and New Media, Henry Jenkins offered a functional description of convergence aptly applicable to New Media: “By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want.” (Wessels, 2011)

An amateur video produced and released on video website YouTube which subsequently garners enormous attention and becomes overnight hit and thus comes within the reporting radar of a news organisation can very well be an example of this kind shift of both the audience and the content. Let us just break down the flow of event: The video thus produced features and instantly garners ill repute. The event then draws a news platform to report a coverage of the same which consequently makes it a trending video on YouTube. This passage functions in multifaceted ways. Comical or emotional pieces from TV or radio broadcasts often find their shares on SNS and blogs and gain instant repute and collect more audience views than the original broadcast or telecast.

Courtesy New Media, media consumers now take all kinds of media platforms as interactive and participative. For instance let us take example of very popular singing reality show Indian Idol which brings together an old media format TV and contemporary pattern of media where audience sitting in their homes voting their favourite contestants. In addition these days, episodes of reality shows are available on YouTube and other platforms allowing audience who might have been viewing them for the first time, to provide feedback and discussions on the content. Telecommunication service providers have reported a rise in network traffic during the show time which arguably can be due to people discussing about the show and contestants with friends and family or for casting votes. Thus it ushers in expanded horizon for a program like this where more people get exposed to themes and contents of the show than the public who watch the show in actuality.

Internet and more specifically New Media have roped in increased individual greater partaking in media contents and outlets as a whole. However, long term implications of these shifts on culture and human life are yet to be gauzed in actuality, the paradigm shift is undoubtedly a unique one. With time as and when media consumers become more comfortable with this New Media navigation this shift will only grow stronger.

New Media and a Hybrid Culture

The New Media has brought in a sea change in the way people used to perceive their way of life. New Media has brought in a plethora of revolutionary alterations in the domains of communication in such a big way that it has in turn become the most preferred mode of day to day exchange. Be it ordering some food, buying some products, sharing one's emotion, sending videos or pictures instantly over messenger ; New Media has surpassed our wildest imagination in recent history of time. Prior the rise of this instant and interactive medium, people had no option but to reinforce the hegemony of traditional media and their mechanism of information flow. But with the rise and expansion of this medium which cuts across limitations of time and space, people are now bombarded with an explosion of information, of diverse range and nature, thus being updated round the clock.

Meanwhile, New Media has not acquired this omnipresent or omnipotent status in a single day but has gone about rapid and substantive change over past few decades. History of New Media is itself new chronicling the journey of a stagnant network to becoming the largest repository of data to transforming into information Super Highway and influencing the idea of world and community ever so swiftly.

During the late 80s and 90s, the Internet expanded possibilities to enhance the Information Technology capacities of various higher education institutions (HEI), colleges, research centers and universities and in the later phase extended its services to public, government institutions, and private organizations around the globe. This cost effective medium has experienced exponential growth over last couple of decades and has evolved to be the greatest, grandest and most powerful computer driven network under the sun mutating from its infancy version of being a State owned mission. After the coming up of interactive Web 2.0, the initial years of Twenty First Century was itself an uprising in the brief chronicle of New Media. The following decade saw an unprecedented rise in Social Media and a host of other interactive and community based tools of man-machine interaction.

The New Media now-a-days is not only a tool for exchange of information but it has become a complex multifaceted arrangement which has the power to initiate, curate and fine tune content and community based communication beyond the narratives of reality. The very ideas of spontaneity encompasses varied spheres of internet based communication including sharing of data, usage of audio-visual and other types of content and share one's life, identity in live mode. Thus there is a world within world which many scholars have lamented as parallel world. Nothing is personal or private, as when it is transacted through this powerful medium, everything becomes ‘glocal' and public.

This mediated communication system via New Media has manifold implications in one's life including the aspect of social relationships. The interactive online media transcends the barriers of geographic limitations and puts together communities interested in a particular category of content. Today society has evolved to be webbed, globalised powered by New Media Technologies. Internet has come up as a means of interaction, at times compromising norms of security and privacy.

IT and its varied applications have ushered in a shift all across the society transforming it from industrial age to current information age (Bell, 1970). This era is characterized by global networks of information which have turned out be global infrastructures. And this mammoth cyber infrastructure has influenced politics, identity, community, business, healthcare and what not. Even the way people live their life, interact with family and friends. New Media has become a driving force in the realm societal evolution and interaction.

The shift in patterns of social interaction are significant enough as traditional means still have their shares left although in lesser quantity and newer technologies are continue to gain importance with each coming day. This has transformed our practices of communications with its expanding scope and applications; particularly among youth users. New Media has ruptured all the barriers of communication. While online, one can overcome traditional hurdles of time and space and unearth a plethora of possibilities in terms of communication. The Social Media has brought in phrases like ‘Technocracy' and I would like add one ‘Infocracy' where democratization of information has led to wonders, in every aspect of human life.

In modern day, the expansion of the Internet today is primarily crafted by instantaneous, mobile communications via mobile. The mobile Internet is a recent buzz. All-inclusive connectivity through internet via Smartphones and other high end gadgets like tablets has led to ever expanding world of mobile reality: people now are not restricted to any single particular device, and everything else that matters is in the virtual cloud. Today people do not limit themselves for longer durations staring at a computer screen after study or work rather they are online, round the clock 24X7, through smartphones. People who are lagging behind will potentially loose opportunities.

The Internet Driven Mediated Communication

The internet has come to be embedded in daily lives of people, altering the ways of communication too. Social media has prejudiced conventional modes of interaction, opening a new platform of information sharing that delimits the limitations of traditional media. Since its initial days social media has kept its thumb rule of operations pretty simple, relevant and with some share of privacy. That's why it has replaced other older means of communication and has become super success. The actual strength of new media is the webbed structure it creates thereby letting users to track every moment of their valued associates. Social media enables people to share information and experience and make then interconnected to other users instantly. Without conventional barriers, new media or to be social media has overcome the traditional limitations of time and space and created a situation of ‘borderless communications'.

Out of all these new changes that have been brought by new media, the aspect of social media and its unimagined evolution must be highlighted. Social media has altered the narratives of individuality. It has transformed the existing structures of communications; with partners, family and friends. The essential premise of leading life has gone for a toss and is being continually revamped. From academics to business, from cultures to commerce social media has reshaped the gamut of politics, community and identity.

The New Media and Culture

Akin to the ICT revolution which has transformed the domain of education, globalization and wide spreading implications of Information and Communication Technologies have altered the way people lead their life and their identity in terms of culture. The traditional concepts of distance, space and time have lost their traditional notions and globalization of culture is here expanding a global movement of culture and its processes.

Culture has now got a new platform of opportunity via the means of online. Be it transmission of idea, an artwork or a property of knowledge or information; all these have been multiplied, courtesy New Media and its applications. Many have warned about the perils of internet as a detriment to traditional culture but it is also to be noted that online media is bringing varied cultures to a single interface and giving an opportunity of interplay among the cultures and also the man-machine cultural discourses.

Newer forms of art, expression and knowledge have evolved because of increased applications of New Media technology. To be precise New Media has not remained as tool for cultural transmission rather it has become a cultural product and indicator. To add, New Media has opened up newer avenues in cultural realm, introduced new dimensions of innovation in every sector of human life thus leading to the creation of new products, services, ideas, knowledge which in turn makes a society progressive and enhance societal well being.

The New Media and Personal Relationships

New Media has also shifted ways in which people used to communicate with family, friends and partners. In the webbed web, everyone is connected to everyone else. The online communication is more easy, open, accessible and spontaneous. The immediacy quotient has made it more popular than its counterparts as these days people prefer to carry forward their personal transaction through Smart-phones and gadgets. The concept of 24X7 online and immediate accesses is two most significant features of online media as it overpowers the geographical boundaries make people connected, always. It is apparent that New Media has not been only a technology or instrument but its presence can found at personal as well as societal level. The New Media has enabled infinite numbers of users to interact with each other easily and freely, delimiting any restriction what so ever. These days SNS tools are making people come together, building a relationship and also breaking it. Even specially designed apps for dating and casual encounters have their own dedicated niche.

Meanwhile we should also take into consideration of the fact that face to face communication has many advantages when compared to its virtual counterpart as it is found that online communications are restricted in terms of sensory expressions. Research suggests that 60 to 70 percentages of human communications are done through non verbal cues. Thus it becomes a double edged sword when it comes to express sensory signals as there are ample scopes of misunderstanding.

The New Media and Consumer Trends

New Media technologies have significantly accelerated the rate of information dissemination and thus have resulted in a situation called “bespoke” shopping (Meyrowitz, 1986). The New Media technology offer infinite store purchasable contents, products, news and services through e-commerce. E- Commerce has come up as giant development powered by substantial distribution mechanism. Be it buying cloths, be it booking tickets or simply ordering food and groceries New Media channels have ushered in an era of secure, instant and unsullied mode of commerce. In this regard, consumer is king as traditional distribution and marketing concepts have given way to its online counterpart. Consumer can now access information from multiple and varied platforms and customer review has become one of the forerunners in terms of marketability of a product or service. Instant accesses to rankings of product, reviews posted by customers, comparisons and recommendations have led to new scenes for trades, economy and behavioural characteristics of consumer.

The Future of New Media and Social Communications and Its Impact on Culture

An omnipresent online 24 x 7 culture is the road ahead for mobile based social communications. The trend has already taken over and will further accelerate with time. The concept of connectivity in totality is here and will follow us wherever we go. This is going to be a virtual one way through the pathways of digitalization across the globe Innovation is key to development, progress and growth and New Media subtly revolutionizing traditional world and the civilization itself and this new world order is rapidly moving forward. Innovation is continually transforming and will continue to facelift the road ahead. Mobile internet has unprecedentedly taken over all other forms of media. These shifts are here for some time now and mobile led communications have ushered in a new era.

SNS and social websites are no longer mere means of virtual communication but have become cross roads of cultures. The life has become virtual and our data, contact and everything else we do have become independent of the device being used as it is there in the cloud. Cross platform functioning has led to interplay between online and offline cultures and new transition stages are getting uniformly clearer. The culture is getting more and more technology driven and is reaching or has already hybridized state where technology is the central focus in terms of dynamics of all cultural phenomenon. Innovation has been the key to the unimaginable success of New Media and it must go on to remain relevant with fast changing times. Further Telecommunications and social communications are getting clubbed together and new shifts are on their way. The future awaits us with elements of surprises. Mobile communications will continue to alter lifestyle and culture more than ever before and convergence and its implications on mobility will decide the further course of change in the realm of New Media. Just a decade and half back there was nothing called Social Media and in next one decade it might very well take a new avatar. The future hold a plethora of possibilities and the future has just begun.

The name itself suggests its worth: World Wide Web. The New Media and mobile led communication has ruptured all the traditional and geographical hurdles of communication and also cultures. The globalisation of New Media has led to every nook and corner of human civilization in terms of both time and space. American culture has been a major export all across the globe and even smaller nations are now-a-days exporting propaganda, entertainment and even cultures.

The concept of an actually globalized culture in terms of hybridization—where dissemination and receiving of content reaches equilibrium could only be achieved through New Media. Despite a few socio-political hurdles, the mutual flow of data has become unstoppable, at least from a technological stand. Even in a country like China where there is dearth of creative resources, time lag of foreign transmission and stringent control by the government, New Media has helped overcome all these factors in terms of propagation of cultural and entertainment products. The largest populated country under the sun had issues with New Media since the very beginning but the open resource nature of internet has broken down resistance towards being globalised with the country having 22.5 percent (roughly 300 million people, or the population of the entire United States) of the country going online as of 2008 (Google, 2010).

On the 21st day of the first calendar month in 2010, Hillary Clinton while addressing a gathering at Newseum in Washington, DC, said, “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas (Ryan & Halper, 2010).” That very month, Google made a decision not to restrict search results on; the Google's search engine in Chinese language after its China base experienced a gruesome. In addition, Google made it clear that if Chinese government does not materialize a concrete understanding with Google in the matter of search result censorship, Google would wrap up its base from China completely. This was seen as a major reversal in policy as the internet giant has maintained terms and conditions, although reluctantly, with the Chinese administration for its operation. Google's motto, “Don't be evil,” had been in odd quarters since long under Chinese regulations and it did hamper their business strategies. Although the US based internet giant had a quarter of the Chinese market, stringently controlled Chinese search engine Baidu was the market leader.

To ascertain the implications of media convergence one can take up the example of CNN's official Twitter handle and click through the “Following” tab. One will be exposed to numerous and differing options available, including Twitter feeds of journalists and feeds from the handles they follow. The presence of CNN in this micro blogging website restricted to 140 characters sparks a debate itself when we consider CNN's motto, “The most trusted name in network news”. So how reliable and in-depth coverage can get in 140 characters?

Not only CNN, almost all the big, traditional media organizations employ Twitter as a platform for aggregating a large pile of information which otherwise would have been missed by its viewers. This is the new trend in information gathering process where users can use their Twitter page to collect information from all the pages they follow. Media giants use Twitter as an integration tool for media outlets. The Twitter feed complements the newsy content, but does not report the content itself.

The shift was visible way back in 2008. The New Media surpassed print media as a prime supply for global as well as national news in the United States. Among youth, New Media is the primary pick when it comes to collecting day's news. As per a survey 40 percent of US population received their news from New Media platforms (Pew Research Center for the People, 2008). Since then, media organizations have been putting up their might in forming an online presence. One of remarkable shift to come up is the emergence of online-only news resources. Although many argue that anonymous and echo chamber character of New Media is itself a hindrance to balanced journalism especially for expensive subjects. The big media houses can put reporters in field and this has been one of the crucial contributions to the world of reporting but with ever competitive and market driven model of journalism, this is the first causality in times of cost crunch. Internet and New Media have apparently provided an answer to this with internet as a prime source of information for increasing number of people and online-only publications and outlets mushrooming the business.

John F. Harris and Jim Vande Hei , the reporter duo from the house the Washington Post, left their portfolios to start a website called ‘ politico' based on politics. What they did new was running the website just like a news organization on web. By 2010 Politico reached 60 Lakhs monthly visitors and expanded its operation base by adding more than 100 staffs. Now Politico correspondents are a regular envoy in US White house foreign trips (Wolff, 2009). Politico increased its media reach using several New Media applications like Twitter, Blog apart from having a print edition which came much later.

During its early days New Media was stereotyped as a escape for people who are less social in the real world and was argued that New Media will further increase the gap. But the potential of New Media as a bridge for the cultures across the globe was also not overlooked. It seemed that a force which can bridge the gap can also widen it at the same time. This bafflement was theorized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as the “Internet paradox.”( Kraut et. al., 1998)

APA's study titled “Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being (Kraut, et. al., 1998)?” found that teenage users spending more time in internet were prone to self asserted aloneness and other psychosomatic stress. This is due to the fact that teenagers have the skill, curiosity, time and inquisitiveness than their adult counterparts when it comes to usage of internet. This reinforces the idea that young generation is more likely to be influenced by the socio­cultural implications of New Media.

An investigation conducted by the Michigan State University Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media has shown that college-age Facebook users connect with offline friends twice as often as they connect with purely online “friends (Ellison, et. al., 2007). A vast majority almost amounting to 90 percent of the respondents who were included in the investigation said that on their chat priority are friends whom they know personally rather than whom they met virtually in Facebook. This indeed a testimony of the fact New Media is actually making offline and online interplay very subtly, in every aspect of life, ranging from communication to culture and vice versa.

The New Media has transformed the transmission of popular culture a two-way avenue. The new shift has snatched the potency of traditional mass media to sway popular culture anymore. Now netizens with 24X7 accesses to New Media technologies have the power to initiate and propagate what is now known as the cross-fertilization of pop culture across the globe, a commonplace phenomenon these days.

Throughout the chronicle of human civilization, newer means of communication technologies have always had their fair share when it comes to influencing culture significantly. New Media has been seen as a metaphor where socio-cultural complexities are merged and communicated. Hence majority of views of New Media technologies and its implications on offline cultures are most of the times negative. On the other hand, aficionados of technocracy have glorified New Media and its applications as the most reckoning forces to bring in enlightening and creative change in the human history. The Big Data is here transfiguring the way of life which is synonymous with culture. There is never an ounce of doubt in asserting that SNS and digital media have substantial influence on culture so far.

The New Media and SNS have found to be powerful instruments in changing human attitude and behavior. In recent past, SNS has played a pivotal role in spreading and leading civil movements and dissent. SNS has been a potent instrument which surged occurrences of Occupy protests, the Arab Spring, the mobilization of resistance against the Governments. In a webbed world of web SNS has the capability to make people participate, connect and decentralize their public life.

Now-a-days, New Media has become an everyday culture or it can be said that today's culture have entwined itself to the digital sphere. The online dating websites and Apps are significant examples of social relationships drawing life from online resources. In West, segmented and individualistic societies have embraced this change as a solution. Specifically, youth today are experiencing a phenomenon called ‘digital bedroom' 52 - a childhood which is increasing mediated through SNS, New Media and Smart-phones.

Instant messaging and always mobile communications have roped in significant cultural implications. Language which is a key element of culture have evolved drastically after the coming up of New media. These rapid and serious changes have ushered in a plethora of changes and shifts in society and cultures. Digital symbols and rituals have overtaken the offline ones or offline are going digital with a facelift. Identity and its dynamics have changed and it is profound especially among youth generation.

With the coming up of New Media technologies life has changed many folds and so as our approach towards leading it. Andrew Dewdney and Peter Ride in their ‘The New Media Handbook' mentioned that ‘New Media are not only simply outcomes of the creative use of new machines but also shapes cultural, institutional and financial conditions of people in the environment it work'( Dewdney and Ride, 2006).

Living in a technology driven world, people are bombarded with ever changing technologies which not only open up new plethora of possibilities to explore but also challenges to change our normative approaches towards existence. New Media technologies, their application in social platforms has ushered in an era where people experience interactivity, spontaneity, instant feedback and much more, which flaunt the power to influence our day to today life, and more specifically what we call, ‘culture'.


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New Media and Cultural Hybridisation. A Study on the Influence of New Media Technologies on the Youth of Silchar, India
Assam University
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new media, hybrid culture, youth
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Sayan Dey (Author), 2019, New Media and Cultural Hybridisation. A Study on the Influence of New Media Technologies on the Youth of Silchar, India, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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