This essay attempts to bring greater subtlety to our understanding of the role that print and newspapers play in the shaping of modern society. The essay begins by focusing on the centrality that Jürgen Habermas and Benedict Anderson give to print and newspapers and examines the applicability of their ideas to Kerala, India's most newspaper-consuming state, over the past 200 years. The essay suggests that by conceptualizing print and newspaper development in three stages, we arrive at a more accurate understanding of the impact of print consumption on societies and their politics.

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