Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mahuya Pal, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ambar Basu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jane Jorgenson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gurleen Grewal, Ph.D.


Bangladeshi Advertising Industry, Consumption Studies, Critical Advertising Studies, critical media and cultural studies, Critical Youth Studies, Postcolonial Approaches in Advertising


My dissertation examines the role of advertising in producing cultural narratives within the contemporary neoliberal economy and the historical context of Bangladesh. More specifically, based on thematic analysis of data collected from 73 in-depth interviews with Bangladeshi advertising practitioners, this study aims to understand the discursive production of youth culture in the country. The dialectical tensions between the global and local, universal, and particular inform this study. Using a postcolonial and cultural studies approach, this study investigates how Bangladeshi advertisers reconfigure, replace, or reinforce the notion of youth culture in Bangladesh. This study is significant because it: a) introduces a postcolonial cultural studies approach to advertising studies, an underexplored theoretical framework in advertising research, b) shifts the focus of cultural studies to a marginalized context of the global South, what I call South of the South or deep South, c) draws attention to the sub-imperialistic impulses within postcolonial locations, and d) addresses a gap in the field of communication, media and advertising studies by integrating scholarship on youth and advertising in the global South. The main findings demonstrate that Bangladeshi practitioners rearticulate the youth culture by a) producing the idea of the moral consumer with an emphasis on both hijabi and secular sensibilities, b) constructing ideas of friendship in new ways, and c) building neo-colonial/liberal aspirations and desires. Discourses of youth culture revolve around the upper- and middle-class youth, consolidate the class structure, and confront the nation with a number of tensions, ambivalences, and power struggles. Finally, this research validates the historical role of advertising as an ideological apparatus that not only advanced colonial modernity among native subjects but sustains it in the contemporary neo-colonial/liberal economy. It also argues that the global South is not a homogenous entity. Rather, power relations are exercised within the postcolonies by the postcolonies.