DS 150

Essay by skotaCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Midterm #1

1) Explore if and how the inside/outside dichotomy (discussed by the authors who write of the Indian public) shows up or is reinvented, according to Snodgrass, in his account of the Udaipuri Bhats. You will be evaluated on your grasp of the concepts you discuss and on how you bring Snodgrass into conversation with the 'public sphere/space' authors.

Snodgrass' account of the Udaipuri Bhats examines events leading up to the spiritual possession of Bedami, a young Bhat woman, and its effect on the community. Through his text, a dichotomy of an inside and outside within the community is revealed. The inside/outside dichotomy describes how the Indian cultural and social sphere is divided up into familiar or "our" space and the unfamiliar or "their" space. Whereas the "our" space is viewed as safe and orderly, the "their" space is viewed as risky and corrupt. To the Bhats, the inside or "our" space contains the members of the community and the outside or "their" space contains outsiders and people in the community who do not co-habituate with the others.

In Snodgrass' account, this dichotomy is first introduced when he says that the Bhats believes that the cause of Bedami's possession is her husband's attitude toward money. Ramu, Bedami's husband, is a miser who does not like to spend on others and does not use his money to aid members of the community. The community believes his stinginess is due to the fact that he has entered the new market economy by obtaining a wage-earning job at a folklore institute. Ramu's modern way of earning a salary drives him to pursue life insurance and create personal savings that will only benefit him and his family instead of the entire community. By taking this modern approach Ramu has created the first...