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Authors: Rumsey-Merlan, Jesse Peter
Advisors: Borneman, John
Contributors: Anthropology Department
Keywords: Catholic
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
South Asian studies
Regional studies
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis examines the migrant and migratory culture that has emerged in the small Indian state of Goa since Independence in 1961. It considers how the state’s unique colonial and postcolonial trajectory within India has made it a place of cultural hybridization and set it on a path to becoming a locality that, while situated within India, also sits at the nexus of various global social, economic and cultural flows.The dissertation considers several key routes into and out of the state, including the Goa Trance music scene, a burgeoning film production and consumption space, and the adaptation of local conceptions of the festival to world-oriented framings of culture as spectacle and oppositional framed identity. In this vein, the thesis considers what happens to local ideas of belonging when a culture becomes mobile and how xenophobic framings of belonging emerge in response to ethnically “other” in-migration and replacement labor. It offers reflections, too, on how mobility results in novel, differing life trajectories for men and women in Goa. In addition to these questions of place-making and cultural hybridization, the thesis examines the processes by which people in Goa transform their citizenship status, from Indian to Portuguese, and what the implications of religious difference between Catholics and Hindus are for undergoing citizenship change. Taking this approach, the thesis examines the ways in which differing migratory trajectories shape religious and cultural identities at home in Goa and attempts to explain how these alter-identities flow out into the world and create a sense of diaspora. In considering all of the above, the dissertation engages with anthropology’s longstanding theorization of cultural holism and hybridity and the role of anthropology in an increasingly mobile world. It suggests that, in step with this mobility, exploring the transformation of culture with our interlocutors can enrich the theoretical and observational tools of the discipline.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Anthropology

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