Efficient Donors, Meritorious Receivers: Professionalizing transnational philanthropy in coastal Andhra

Roohi, Sanam (2018) Efficient Donors, Meritorious Receivers: Professionalizing transnational philanthropy in coastal Andhra. Modern Asian Studies, 52 (1). pp. 214-237.

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Abstract: ‘High skilled’ Kamma migrants from Coastal Andhra domiciled in the USA maintain strong ties with their villages and towns of origin. Since the 1990s, one key way in which they have sustained relations with their roots is through transnational philanthropy. Over the last two decades, migrant donors have diversified the modalities of their philanthropic engagements, increasingly institutionalizing them through US-based transnational associations. While the institutionalization of philanthropy may appear to be an import from the USA, closer examination reveals its historical antecedent in the caste-based Varaalu system practised by the Kammas during the late colonial period. The transnationalization of older forms of giving are marked by key modifications in the way giving is conceptualized—from being localized, need based, and individualized to being based on merit, efficiency, and professionalization. The term ‘donation’ is used to describe their philanthropy, rather than daan or charity, and the politics of semantics points to the modernizing impulse within the community to transcend caste owing to their diasporic location. Yet, by aiming to reach deserving beneficiaries while upholding meritocracy, donors often circulate philanthropic resources horizontally on a caste inflected and highly politicized transnational plane. The discourse and practices of transnational giving in post-reform India bring out the contradiction that simultaneously obscures the workings of a caste while transnationalizing its boundaries.
Item Type: Journal Paper
Keywords: Transnational philanthropy, Andhra Pradesh, India, Diaspora, Mobility
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Sociology
Programmes > Provincial Globalisation Programme
Doctoral Programme > PhD Scholar Publications
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2021 19:20
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2021 16:47
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/modern-asi...
Related URLs:
    Funders: WOTRO Science for Global Development programme of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
    Projects: Provincial Globalisation Programme -a collaboration between the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, India
    DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X17000622
    URI: http://eprints.nias.res.in/id/eprint/2091

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