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Migration and Islamic reform in a port town in western India

Simpson, Edward (2003) 'Migration and Islamic reform in a port town in western India.' Contributions to Indian Sociology, 37 (1 & 2). pp. 83-108.

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Abstract

In much of the literature on international migration ‘causes’ are typically presented as evidence of a particular social or religious ‘effect’, without due consideration of the social relationship between the two. This paper explores the social mechanisms through which causes are translated into successful economic and political effects, with an emphasis on historical and contemporary migration. The examination of the exchange of gifts, ideas and social and religious practices among Muslim seafarers of western India suggests that the effects of historical migrations have ordered local social hierarchy and that a similar ‘modern’ order is attached to commodities and religious values, which is in turn deployed in an attempt to usurp the ‘traditional’ sources of power. An antagonistic relationship between long- and short-term patterns of reproductive exchange is exposed in a description of the ways in which commodity exchange is mirrored in the exchanges involved in religious reform, the primary mechanism of social change.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 00699667
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1177/006996670303700105
Depositing User: Edward Simpson
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2008 14:54
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4567

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