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This chapter introduces the key conceptual, theoretical, and empirical contexts underpinning the book, and shows how lifestyle TV is implicated in broader transformations of individual identity and collective sociality in the region. It maps the social, cultural, and economic contexts for the rise of life advice TV in these countries, with particular attention to the deepening of marketized regimes of governance and market logic in everyday life and over the past three decades. This chapter explains the research project’s multimethod approach and outlines the book’s key conceptual frameworks, including the concept of “multiple modernities”: the idea that modernity is not, nor has it ever been, the sole preserve of the West, but rather, different geocultural contexts produce specific versions of modern structures and processes. This frames the book’s intention to “provincialize” the Eurocentric presumptions that have tended to underlie much extant work in mainstream television studies.

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