Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Media Studies


Carol Liebler

Second Advisor

Robert Thompson


Bollywood, film advertising, film promotion, Masculinity, nationalism, Shah Rukh Khan

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Following a growing public discussion on violence against women in India, some commentators have turned their eye upon Bollywood. The film industry’s role in perpetuating models of courtship based on the stalking and harassment of women has drawn criticism from several quarters. While there has been much said about the depiction of women in Bollywood film, there has been relatively less said on portrayals of masculinity. The research that does exist focuses on textual analyses of films, or looks at masculinity through the lens of global capital flows. This thesis instead, analyzes trailers, posters, promotional pictures and social media for the film Raees (dir. Rahul Dholakia), to examine the construction of masculinity in Bollywood film promotional material. Promotional content tends to recreate masculine tropes that were found to be prevalent in textual analyses of Bollywood films. All promotional formats continued to reiterate male dominance, stereotyped Muslim men as violent and promoted nationalism. A new theme that emerged was the appropriation and commodification of Muslim masculinity, an outcome of Bollywood’s role in driving consumerism in India post economic liberalization.


Open Access



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