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The un/selfish leader: Changing notions in a Tamil Nadu village
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

'The un/selfish' leader explores notions of selfishness, as they were perceived by people in the village of Ekkaraiyur, Tamil Nadu, India, at a time they associated with thorough changes in their lives.

Discussing locally held notions about agrarian change, seen as causing the erosion of earlier village loyalties and leading to the emergence of a new type of leaders, the study focus on the censure of the alleged corruption of these leaders. Expressed in a rich repertoire of stories about the ideals of leadership and about the excellence of the past and foreign societies, the censure was routinely voiced in public debates and in everyday conversations.

Set against a background an increasing role of the state for the people in Ekkaraiyur, the censure of leaders implied a critique of the contemporary society they were taken to represent. Moreover, the study argues that the critique was grounded in evaluations of individualism and selfishness in human nature.

The study is based on fieldwork carried out in Ekkaraiyur between 1988 and 1990

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Socialantropologiska institutionen , 2006. , 326 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Anthropology, India, Tamil Nadu, leadership, corruption, rural change, individualism
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-948ISBN: 91-7155-239-1OAI: diva2:200697
Public defence
2006-05-05, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2006-04-07 Created: 2006-04-07 Last updated: 2013-12-09Bibliographically approved

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