ISSN: 1550-7521

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Commentary Open Access

University Scrutiny, Working Conditions, and Skill Development: A Critical Analysis of Unpaid Student Internships in Indian Media Industries

Abstract

Drawing on Gramsci's concept of consent manufacturing and Althusserian idea of ideological state apparatus, this paper critically analyses unpaid student internships in India, focusing on media studies. Premised on the in-depth interviews conducted with 24 postgraduate students of various higher educational institutes in India, this paper explores the guidelines and interventions on internships, the interns' experiences in the industry, and their perceptions of unpaid internships. Findings of the interviews point to the reinforcement of the Althusserian notion of universities as an ideological state apparatus. Through the mandatory internships and less scrutinised endorsement of the industry requirements, the university departments fulfil the capitalist conditions for reproducing the productive forces for the future. The students' interviews reveal 'consent' among the students to participate in unpaid internships. However, the consent is manipulated because the students are stuck in a loop of mandatory credit requirement and the market logic of hope labour.

Rajeesh Kumar T. V*, Dr. S. Anand Lenin Vethanayagam

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