Giving Back: Diaspora Philanthropy and the Transnationalisation of Caste in Guntur (India)

Roohi, Sanam (2016) Giving Back: Diaspora Philanthropy and the Transnationalisation of Caste in Guntur (India). Doctoral thesis, NIAS; Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam.

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Thesis advisorUpadhya,
Thesis advisorvan Schendel, Willem HUNSPECIFIED
Abstract: This thesis is an anthropological study of a group of highly educated transnational migrants belonging to the agrarian landowning elite of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, who have settled in the USA and other western countries. This affluent regional diaspora has engaged extensively in philanthropic projects for social development (especially in education, health and rural development) in their home region. Based on 15 months of field research carried out in Andhra and the US, the thesis examines the discursive and processual aspects of the philanthropic practices of this diaspora. The study offers insights into how a transnational community is shaped that remains culturally and materially rooted in Andhra and its regional social formations of caste, class and kinship. The thesis further traces how transnational philanthropy has become institutionalised within diasporic associations and within the local state in Guntur district. In this case, the institutionalisation of philanthropy is shown to be a mutation of earlier forms of ‘giving’ that have colonial roots, in which caste became a principle axis of community formation and assertion, and patronage within the caste - a key modality of building caste solidarity. With the global dispersal of this regionally dominant group and the accumulation of economic and cultural capital through migration, this older caste habitus has been reproduced but also altered in particular ways. These transnational practices of giving are enmeshed in a neoliberal economy and in governance practices, thereby reconstituting older structures and forms of dominance in Coastal Andhra within the contemporary globalising political-economic formation.
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: The thesis was submitted to the University of Amsterdam. Sanam Roohi, student of the collaborative Provincial Globalisation Programme: The Impact of Reverse Transnational Flows in India's Regional Towns [Year of Award December 2016]
Keywords: Diaspora Philanthropy, Guntur, regional diaspora, transnational capital accumulation, transnational capital circulation, caste networks, social development, philanthropic practices, coastal andhra, Migration, Mobility
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Sociology
Doctoral Programme > Theses
Programmes > Provincial Globalisation Programme
Divisions: Schools > Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 10:46
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2023 11:16
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    Funders: Integrated Programme of WOTRO Science for Global Development, the Netherlands
    Projects: Provincial Globalisation Programme

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