Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The country near the city : social space and dominance in Tamil Nadu
Author: Janarthanan, Dhivya
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6450
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Recent anthropological, geographical, and historical studies have exorcised the conceptualisation of space as an empty container. Yet the anthropology of space often limits itself to examining representations of space instead of comprehending the wider spectrum of relations and processes that produce social space itself. Within the field of South Asian ethnography, this has, combined with the rejection of the 'legacies' of village studies, cast a shadow over the village as an ontologically and epistemologically relevant category. In addition, scholarship of caste and gender only obliquely refers to the dialectic between the production of space and the reconstitution of social relations. This thesis redresses the problems emerging from these issues. Combining fieldwork in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district with comparative research, the thesis explores the linkages between the production of social space and dominance. This research's broad ethnographic focus on a micro-region dominated by the Piramalai Kallar caste throws light on transformations of past agrarian territories and caste dominance. With its sharper focus on a village near Madurai city's administrative boundaries, and close to major national highways, the thesis also highlights the nature of new ruralities, which are shaped by transformations in transport infrastructures, widening markets of land, labour, and credit, global futures trading in agricultural commodities, developmental regimes, and the multi-scalar networks through which dominance and resistance are wrought. Grasping sites such as roads, irrigation tanks, land, and memorials as concrete abstractions, and attending to the turbulent and the normal - the event and the everyday - the thesis uncovers the co-constitutive characteristics of space and social relations, and the hybridity of social space in India. Simultaneously, it discloses the tension between movement and stability, emphasising the relative permanence of social groups and the relative instability of objects and things that produce, and are produced by, this space.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral