Regional Modernities - The Cultural Politics of Development in India

Regional Modernities - The Cultural Politics of Development in India

Product ID: 11143

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Author: K Sivaramakrishnan
Arun Agrawal/
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 452
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0 19 5657012


This book brings together essays that critique entrenched discourses on development. Using culturalist frameworks, the essays advance public and scholarly debates on development that move beyond globally dominant and homogenized views of modernity.

Drawing on extensive ethnographic treatments, the contributors to the volume point out the diversity of both the development experience, and the nature of modernities that development puts in place. The essays challenger post-structural analyses of development, and rethink the concept of globalization by strategically focusing on the cultural politics of social transformations.

Further, the volume suggests that local histories and agencies are at work in any modern context. To this end, it advances the need for greater attention to the region as a conceptual device-to understand how the local is constructed, and how regional political and economic formations selectively empower or undermine particular local processes and phenomena. In analyzing these different enactments of development, the volume puts forward the idea of regional modernities, and weaves cases around diverse regions to present a rich and complex but strongly analytical set of studies.

The theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded research reported in this volume would be useful to scholars and researchers in development studies, cultural studies, South Asian studies, sociology, social anthropology as also NGOs and activists.


The volume brings together some excellent new scholarship on the idea and practice of development. It rescues the complex history of development encounters from the prison of monolithic modernization discourse without splintering it into endless postmodernist narrative fragments. The stories of development told in this book together form a powerful critique of the votaries of postdevelopment and give back to individuals and institutions involved in popular struggles and social movements their agency in seizing entitlements from the hotly contested terrain of development.

-Sugata Bose, Gardiner professor of History, Harvard University



Regional Modernities in Stories and
Practices of Development


The Transmission of Development:
Problems of Scale and Socialization

Developing Women: The Traffic in Ideas about
Women and their Needs in Kangra, India

Difficult Work: Becoming Developed

Building India’s Modern Temples:
Indians and Americans in the Damodar Valley Corporation, 1945-60

Shelter in Modern Delhi


Beyond Blackmail: Multivalent Modernities and the
Cultural Politics of Development in India

Development, Nationalism, and the Time of the Primitive:
The Dangs Darbar

Educating Entrepreneurs, Organizing for Social Justice:
NGO Development Strategies in New Delhi Bastis

Mukkuvar Modernity:
Development as a Cultural Identity

Development Counter-Narratives:
Taking Social Movements Seriously


Rethinking Boundaries

On Binaries and Boundaries

Beyond the Local / Global Divide:
Knowledge for Tree Management in Madhya Pradesh

Modernity in a Suitcase:
An Essay on Immigrant Indian Writing

Policing and Erasing the Global/ Local Border:
Rajasthani Foresters and the Narrative Ecology of Modernization

State, Place, Identity: Two Stories in the Making of Region