Online Entertainment| YouTube Nation: Precarity and Agency in India’s Online Video Scene

Sangeet Kumar


This article analyzes the emerging culture of online video production and distribution in India to make a case for a growing subculture that navigates the divide between the amateur and the professional. Yet in the early stages, this cultural scene encompassing a mix of professional and nonprofessionals creating videos across diverse genres seeks to negotiate the affordances of the social Web to chart new pathways and trajectories that showcase an agentic subjectivity. Through interviews with participants involved in this process of production, as well as engaging with the texts produced by them, this article locates this subculture within the binaries of precarity and creativity, the global and the local, as well as the professional and amateur. Evolving alongside the dominant cultural institutions of India, this milieu remains in a dialectical relationship with it, both borrowing from it and being appropriated in return.


cultural production, agency, precarity, India, YouTube

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