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Title: Everybody have to eat : politics and governance in Trinidad
Author: Hosein, Gabrielle Jamela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 8072
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This ethnography examines Trinidadian politics by exploring everyday forms of participation in authority and what they signal about governance of public life. It first delves into the relationships, values and actions that most matter to ordinary women and men. More specifically, it looks at the ways male and female market vendors, Carnival masqueraders, illegal squatters and religious leaders manage and engage with others, ideas, things, spaces, processes, institutions and habits. It then examines how these inform their participation in informal, formal and state-centred aspects of public life. I argue that Trinidadian politics is grounded in the taken-for-granted norms of informal social life or lore. Lore is crucially significant to deepening analysis of those state institutions, rules and practices, or law, typically studied in political scholarship. In fact, the ways formal processes of state and government actually work can hardly be understood without a grounded understanding of informal social life. This study, therefore, examines the relationship between lore and law and, at another tier, the interaction between social politics and a legal politics. It explores the values, practices and negotiations associated with sociality, and the dispositions that articulate them. These dispositions reach across and engage ideas connected to legality as well. They created habitual and homologous ways of expressing, participating in and negotiating authority. They give life to what is considered desirable and legitimate, and become the basis for women and men's participation in governance. Together, they inform an approach to authority defined by values of reasonableness and advantage. People refer to these when legitimizing how they make sense of the world. This is exemplified in the ways that vendors and police enforce legislation, party activists and squatters depend on patronage, women and men participate in associational life, and Carnival masqueraders and local governmental officials compete to lead a national event. In each instance, and comparing them, I explore what matters to individuals and groups and what kinds of authority, including emotions, family, need, God, and gender, weigh in on the moment. Such styles of legitimization point to an aesthetic that normatively orders overlapping individual, social and state-centred ways of doing things. Aesthetic authority is, therefore, the basis for my approach to everyday, lived aspects of governance in Trinidad.;KEYWORDS: Politics, Governance, Authority, Informality, Public Life, Gender, Trinidad and Tobago.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available