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The Writings of Pamela Price: State, Politics and Cultures in Modern South India

Pamela Price, Orient BlackSwan, 2013, 348 p, ISBN : 9788125051145, $47.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The Writings of Pamela Price: State, Politics and Cultures in Modern South India

Pamela Price has been a perceptive observer and analyst of the politics and cultures of southern India for more than three decades. She became interested in how the people in the region honour and respect those in public life while doing research in Madurai on Dravidian nationalism. She has also researched on similar issues in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This volume is a collection of ten of her essays that appeared between 1979 and 2010, presenting studies from different political domains and linguistic areas.

This volume brings together ten of Pamela Price’s essays that appeared between 1979 and 2010, presenting studies from different political domains and linguistic areas. They represent the author’s long involvement with political culture in south India.  They focus on conceptions of honour, authority, and morality. Price examines both change and continuity in ideas, values and symbols in colonial and post colonial south Indian politics. She outlines evolution in cultural meanings of power and influence under imperial rule and later under electoral regimes, giving evidence of individual agency in cultural constructions.

A running theme in political performances in post-colonial state politics, and one which she pursues in several of the essays in this collection, is the politics of honour and respect commanded by public figures that sheds light on the multifaceted nature of domination. Honour and respect and the dynamics of competition to command these attributes are topics of increasing interest in scholarship on south India to which she has made significant contributions.

This volume of essays will be an invaluable guide for students of history and politics of southern India in both the colonial and modern periods. The book will also appeal to those interested in understanding the culture and politics of south India.

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