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Borgstrom, Bengt-Erik (1971) Symbolic and material aspects of institutions in political process: Analysis of two North Indian villages. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is an illustration of the use of the processual method in social anthropology. In the first chapter a model is outlined. It deals with the problem of how to treat political anthropology. The main argument is that one has to look at the material basis and the ideology of the groups under investigation and see how these two spheres interact in the process of competition for political goals. They interact by being brought into the struggle by the contestants, and this is done through social relations, institutions. The institutions have both a material and ideological aspect and they act as resources for the groups that can use these aspects. Or rather, the groups activate and organize these material and ideological resources through social relations of different kinds. In the second chapter the model is nut in a definite social context, that of northern India. The concepts of the first chapter are filled with ethnographic and conceptual data, and this is done by using a historic perspective, since the social relations and the resources mentioned above constantly change, some are emerging while others are vanishing. In the third chapter the scale is narrowed down to the micro- sociological level. Elections to the statutory panchayats in two villages in the area described in the second chapter are analysed. The conceptual and ethnographic framework from chapter two is taken as given and operative in this process, it constitutes the resources for the different groups. The fourth chapter consists of a discussion of the other three chapters.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59

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