Javier González Díez

Building Temples, Tracing Networks: A Social and Spatial Perspective of Urban Transition in Pondicherry, South India (1960-2014)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Urban Transition; India; Pondicherry; Amman Goddesses; Temples.

This article discusses in historical-anthropological perspective the transformations of social networks over the past four decades of urban transition in Pondicherry (South India). To grasp the specificities of these changes, it focuses on the history of the temples of the Tamil goddesses named Amman in a recently urbanized neighborhood. The cult of the goddesses offers a very interesting case of a cultural and social institution in the process of moving from rural areas to the cities and can therefore be used as a key to understanding the urban transition. By referring to the concept of «subaltern urbanization», the article shows that in South India there is no single dominant model of urbanization, but rather a variety of ways in which social groups use their agency and a repertoire of ideas and symbols partly of rural origin to bring order into social relations.

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