The Writings of Pamela Price: State, Politics, and Cultures in Modern South India: Honour, Authority, and Morality
Pamela Price
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
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Orient BlackSwan

Pamela Price has been a perceptive observer and analyst of the politics and cultures of southern India for more than three decades. She became interested in how the people in the region honour and respect those in public life while doing research in Madurai on Dravidian nationalism. She has also researched on similar issues in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This volume is a collection of ten of her essays that appeared between 1979 and 2010, presenting studies from different political domains and linguistic areas.

This volume brings together ten of Pamela Price’s essays that appeared between 1979 and 2010, presenting studies from different political domains and linguistic areas. They represent the author’s long involvement with political culture in south India.  They focus on conceptions of honour, authority, and morality. Price examines both change and continuity in ideas, values and symbols in colonial and post colonial south Indian politics. She outlines evolution in cultural meanings of power and influence under imperial rule and later under electoral regimes, giving evidence of individual agency in cultural constructions.

A running theme in political performances in post-colonial state politics, and one which she pursues in several of the essays in this collection, is the politics of honour and respect commanded by public figures that sheds light on the multifaceted nature of domination. Honour and respect and the dynamics of competition to command these attributes are topics of increasing interest in scholarship on south India to which she has made significant contributions.

This volume of essays will be an invaluable guide for students of history and politics of southern India in both the colonial and modern periods. The book will also appeal to those interested in understanding the culture and politics of south India.

Pamela Price is Professor Emerita in South Asian History at the University of Oslo.

— one —
Raja-dharma in Nineteenth-Century South India 
Land, Litigation, and Largesse in Ramnad Zamindari 
— two —
Acting in Public Versus Forming a Public 
Conflict Processing and Political Mobilisation in Nineteenth–Century South India 
— three —
Kin, Clan, and Power in Colonial South India 
Queens and Slaves in the Politics of Reproduction 
— four —
Kingly Models in Indian Political Behaviour 
Culture as a Medium of History 
— five —
Revolution and Rank in Tamil Nationalism 
— six —
Relating to Leadership in the Tamil Nationalist Movement 
C. N. Annadurai in Person-centred Propaganda
— seven —
Examining Political Language 
Honour and Respect in Discourses in Post-colonial Karnataka
— eight —
Ideological Elements in Political Instability in Karnataka 
Janata Dal in the Late 1990s 
— nine —
Honour and Morality in Contemporary Rural India 
A Study of Andhra Pradesh 
— ten —
‘Vernacularisation’, Voter Autonomy, and Tensions in Political Conceptions (with Dusi Srinivas)



‘ … Popular ideas about kingship and honor play an important role in shaping India's modern political culture. There is no one who has done more to explicate this than Pamela Price....  No one who wants to understand the character of … Indian politics should ignore this critical body of work.’

David Gilmartin, Professor, North Carolina State University 

‘ ... Pamela Price makes an important contribution to the debates about the making of ... Indian culture, politics and the nature of state. [With] fresh insights ... Price gives us a much-needed synthesis of the different theoretical formulations on the historical origins of modernity of Indian society ... ’ 

G. K. Karanth, Centre for Study of Social Change and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore

‘Pamela Price is one of the most astute analysts of continuity and change in the political cultures of south India... [With] her wide-ranging research and ... interpretative strategies, this volume makes a major contribution to the advance of historical methodologies that focus on the study of present-day political issues.’

David Ludden, Professor of Political Economy and Globalization and Chair of the Department of History, New York University

‘The essays in this volume ... have behind them the intellect of a historian, intimations of an anthropologist, insights of a sociologist and concerns of a political scientist. ... Pamela Price shows how cultural legacies, symbols, and values are important in our understanding the way in which social movements emerge....’

K. C. Suri, Professor, Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad

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