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Title: Cultural intermediaries in a colonial city : the Parsis of Bombay, c. 1860-1921
Author: Patel, Simin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 8703
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation traces a series of cultural negotiations through which the Parsis, a community of ethnic Zoroastrians, fashioned themselves into ‘modern’ citizens in the setting of colonial Bombay. It examines the ways Parsis negotiated change in a number of personal spheres such as their dress, deportment, dining and domesticity as well as the ways the community managed internal groupings such as Persian Zoroastrian refugees and the Parsi poor in the landscape of Bombay. It proposes that it was this unusual, simultaneous fashioning at the levels of the personal and the broader community, that turned the series of negotiations into a project of self-fashioning. It argues that it is in these cultural and intra-communal domains of self-fashioning that we see some of the more difficult negotiations, as well as the inner tensions, that the Parsi model of modernity entailed at the different levels of Parsi society.
Supervisor: O'Hanlon, Rosalind Sponsor: Clarendon Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic and Social History ; South Asia ; Urban History ; Parsis ; Bombay ; Colonial Bombay