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Rumour and gossip in a time of crisis: resistance and accommodation in a South Indian plantation frontier

Raj, Jayaseelan (2019) Rumour and gossip in a time of crisis: resistance and accommodation in a South Indian plantation frontier. Critique of Anthropology, 39 (1). pp. 52-73. ISSN 0308-275X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0308275X18790803

Abstract

This article examines rumour and gossip among the tea workers in the south Indian state of Kerala in the context of recent economic crisis in the Indian tea industry. It argues that gossip and rumour may have distinct effects with regard to resistance and accommodation in the crisis-ridden plantations. The analysis of the gossip shows that the workers are critical of the plantation management, trade unions and the Kerala state for failing to ensure their means of livelihood during the crisis period. In this context, gossip functions as a form and agent of resistance which further shows that the workers were conscious of their exploitation. On the other hand, the ethnographic data presented in this article suggest that rumour is an effective instrument for the control and disciplining of workers in the crisis context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Inequality & Poverty Research Programme
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 14:42
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2019 01:52
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100288

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