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Modernity, 'authenticity', and ambivalence: subaltern masculinities on a South Indian college campus

Rogers, Martyn Christopher 2008. Modernity, 'authenticity', and ambivalence: subaltern masculinities on a South Indian college campus. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 14 (1) , pp. 79-95. 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2007.00479.x

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Focusing on an inner-city college in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, South India, the article investigates the sexual harassment of female students. Locating this violence within the context of social changes resulting from India's integration into the global economy, the article argues that, in this context, sexual harassment is a manifestation of instrumental violence, deployed by subaltern or Scheduled Caste youths to contest their subordination within higher education and the ‘white-collar’ employment market. However, this contest reveals a number of ambivalences through which these subaltern masculinities are constituted. Rationalizing their sexual harassment, the protagonists’ narratives, therefore, oscillate between denigrating ‘Westernization’ while valorizing Tamil culture ideals, and vice versa. This conflict is centred on intense competition for male privilege and status between the newly emerged middle-class elite and impoverished low-caste groups, effectively reworking the social history of youth masculinity to meet the demands of new economic and political conditions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 1359-0987
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:31

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