Star Switching Power in Global Bollywood – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Star Switching Power in Global Bollywood

Yuyao Sun


Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Mentor(s): Swapnil Rai, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 1
Presenter: 5

Event Link


The author identifies that Bollywood movie stars have changed the perception of India as a country globally. Often, one movie star with his masterpiece is able to break into one or more foreign markets, thus becoming the soft power of India, both politically and economically. The author has collected multiple sources to prove the existence of soft power. After the information gathering stage, both qualified and quantified methods were used to analyze the data. For instance, for the China section of the research, the movie 3 idiots, directed by and starring Aamir Khan, was one quintessential example. Movie comments were scraped from the Chinese parallel of IMDb, Douban. These comments were then translated into English, and a word cloud was created to demonstrates the most common ideas associated with the movie from the Chinese audience’s perspective. Moreover, using the word cloud as a hint, the full version of comments that contained these popular ideas were being further investigated. The result shows that the hypothesis is significant, that the soft power of Bollywood movie stars indeed change the political, economic, and social image of India as they become popular in foreign countries. This research has great implications in the policy-making domain because to expand one country’s influence in the age of globalization, the increase of soft power is clearly shown to be an effective means to the traditional increase of hard power such as military and technology advancement, which might provide an alternative development path for many countries.

Authors: Swapnil Rai
Research Method: Library/Archival/Internet Research

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