Interpreting Development: Local Histories, Local Strategies
By: Maxine K. Weisgrau (author)Hardback
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Based on fieldwork and research in Rajasthan's Udaipur District over an eight-year period, this local ethnography of development explores how interpretations of NGO-driven development are continually being renegotiated and redefined in local settings. The main focus of this study is the village-level interaction between non-governmental organizations, their personnel, and village participants. The author documents the cultural, political, and development histories of this area of northern India, known internationally among development practitioners and donor organizations for its large number of non-governmental organizations.This book explores the multiple local perspectives and often conflicting interpretations of development which arise from this interaction, and which are profoundly influenced by this region's socio-political history, as well as by linkages to national and globally-situated events and institutions. One of the linkages explored here is the often unexamined role of government in the formulation of NGO policies and strategies.The area's local history includes the effects of the national construction and reification of the cultural categories 'Tribal' and 'Bhil'.
With origins in the British colonial period, these demographic labels continue to influence perceptions of identity as well as development strategy and policy.As demonstrated throughout this book, local histories of group identity and inter-group relations resonate in NGO-driven development strategies of the 1990s. The NGO sector of Udaipur, and the villages within which they operate, are the locus of events and forces with a national and global reach.
Maxine K. Weisgrau is Assistant Professor (Visiting) of Anthropology at Barnard College and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
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- ID: 9780761806554
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