Fierce Gods: Inequality, Ritual, and the Politics of Dignity in a South Indian Village (BOK)
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The importance of temple ritual in constituting political dominance in South India has been well documented. In this vivid and compelling study of caste and ritual in rural Tamilnadu, Diane P. Mines focuses not only on the temples of the socially powerful, but even more so on the powerful temples of the socially weak. Drawing on phenomenological and existential anthropology, she argues that the village is a heterogeneous reality made and remade by its residents through their own activity. Exploring the intersection of politics, ritual, caste, and other forms of social inequality, this ethnography presents a new view of the village and argues for its reemergence as a unit of analysis. Diane P. Mines is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University and co-editor of Everyday Life in South Asia (IUP, 2002).