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MEDIA ASIA. 1998; 25(1):33-6.Informing, entertaining, and persuading, mass media, especially television, is a powerful factor in the functioning of and change in any society. Mass media can be studied in its various roles as an agent of social change, a reflector of dominant values, and as a reinforcer of dominant values. Results from a 1997 spot survey of 150 television commercials presented on Doordarshan over a 4-week period support the role of the mass media in India as a reflector and reinforcer of dominant cultural values. By indirectly projecting the social norms on how women are expected to behave, television commercials have reproduced patriarchal values in India which are reinforced through the glamorization and naturalization of women's domestic roles, by glorifying the role of mother, by portraying women in public life in soft roles and subordinate jobs, and popularizing the image of women as sex objects and objects of beauty. Changes should be made in the way television in India portrays women to reflect their changing roles and positions in society.