ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Set This House on Fire

having achieved high levels of telephone density and household penetration, under a regime of low rentals subsidised from long distance charges, are now restructuring their tariffs. Even so, they are maintaining rentals for residential telephones significantly below those for business. They have also developed some fairly com- plex systems of subsidies for their weaker sections and rural areas. TRAI does not propose to adopt even these strategies.

Disputed Field

Disputed 'Field' Carol Upadhya Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science edited by Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson; University of California Press, Berkeley,

Patterns of Urban Violence

Patterns of Urban Violence Carol Upadhya Collective Violence in a Provincial City by D Parthasarathy; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1997; pp 204, Rs 395, IN 1988, large-scale noting erupted in the coastal Andhra town of Vijayawada, taking many by surprise. The destruction and looting were widely perceived as the outcome of inter-caste conflict between kammas and kapus, groups which had not previously been thought of as antagonists. While Vijayawada had a long history of political and gang- related violence,' this kind of inter-caste conflict was new and appeared to reflect a change in the alignment of social and political forces. The author of the book under review has taken as his task the explanation of this episode; the study is therefore a timely intervention into the debate on the origins and significance of growing urban violence in India.

On Anthropological Discourse

On Anthropological Discourse Carol Upadhya I AM writing in response to Meenakshi Thapan's reaction (EPW, September 21) to my review of two recent ethnographic texts on rural women in north India (EPW, July 20). My intention in that review was not to attack anthropology in general, but to raise questions about certain trends within (mainly American) cultural anthropology through a critique of recent work on India. Since Thapan appears to have misunderstood the basis of this critique, I would like to clarify my position by situating it in the context of recent debates, which I describe briefly (of course, at the risk of over-simplifying the issues and various positions taken). Because it is not possible to spell out any of these arguments in a brief note, I refer below to a number of writers who have taken a similar position.

Native Voices and Ethnographic Noise

'Native' Voices and Ethnographic Noise Carol Upadhya Don't Marry Me to a Plowman! Women's Everyday Lives in Rural North India by Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery; Westview Press, Boulder, 1996; pp viii + 294. Listen to the Heron's Words; Reimagining Gender and Kinship in North India by Gloria Goodwin Raheja and Ann Grodzins Gold; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1996; pp xxxvii + 234, Rs 445. First published in 1994 by University of California Press, Berkeley.

Art and Life in America-The Trial of O J Simpson

The Trial of O J Simpson Carol Upadhya The trial of 0 J Simpson was broadcast like a soap opera but ended like a football match, with blacks and whites cheering opposing sides. Why did this happen? The racial tension that it generated had something to do with already existing racial divisions and inequalities in American society, but much more to do with the way in which the case was projected and produced by the media. The transformation of a murder trial into a race issue is but one example of the increasing control which the media exerts over the terms of public discourse in the US AS the trial of O J Simpson (ex-football star, television personality and probably the most famous person in America ever to go on trial for murder) for the brutal killings of his ex- wife and her male friend ground on for nine months, it began to look more like a long- running TV soap opera than real life. Millions of Americans watched the proceedings on TV, which were covered exhaustively by CNN, and an estimated 135 million people, or half the population, are thought to have watched or heard the verdict, which was carried live by all the major networks and cable channels (during which time advertising slots reportedly were sold at five times the normal price). With all of the interest generated by media hype, the case became a spectacle in which many of the tensions and contradictions of life in the US a 1995 were articulated and projected in black and white on to a large screen. As the verdict of 'not guilty' was read out, reports say, most whites reacted with dismay while many blacks cheered. Thus in the end the trial was transfromed from a TV drama into a football game, with blacks and whites largely championing opposing sides.

Development from Above and Its Victims

Carol Upadhya Contours of Continuity and Change: The Story of the Bonda Highlanders by Bikram Narayan Nanda; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1994; pp 228, Rs 275.

MEXICO-Rebellion, Repression and Reform

Rebellion, Repression and Reform Carol Upadhya The army crackdown on the Zapatista rebellion in the Chiapas and its subsequent withdrawal in the face of popular opposition underscore the instability and weakness of the government of president Zedillo who is forced to walk a tightrope, balancing his promises of electoral party, judicial and economic reforms against his obligations to the old guard of the PRI who saw him into power.

UNITED STATES-Genes and the Moral Majority

The ideological shift to the right in the US is being underpinned by certain trends in the social sciences and their popular dissemination. Two recent publications exemplify this.

Beyond Gender

complex issues of organisation, motivation, monitoring, finance, etc. that are awaiting solution.
(iv) For economists: Issues of macro policy, government intervention, strategic decisionmaking, pricing, subsidies, etc, are challenging questions in this field that have yet received little attention This is a quick list. Doubtless others will form their own. The point is that this book has raised questions that scholars have to face. This is more important than the answers it provides.


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