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Fertile DisorderSpirit Possession and Its Provocation of the Modern$
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Kalpana Ram

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836306

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836306.001.0001

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Visible and Invisible Bodies

Visible and Invisible Bodies

Rural Women and State Intellectuals

Chapter:
(p.13) Chapter 1 Visible and Invisible Bodies
Source:
Fertile Disorder
Author(s):

Kalpana Ram

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836306.003.0002

This chapter examines the mode in which state intellectuals such as demographers, planners, doctors, and political scientists exercise their effects on rural women in Tamil Nadu. Drawing on Antonio Gramsci's category of state intellectuals combined with a more ethnographic study of the state, the chapter considers the complex, often ambivalent attitudes held by village women to childbirth in hospitals. It explores the responses of rural women to family planning policy, along with the state's silent practices and the basic orientation they provide for different strata of intellectuals who affect the lives of rural women. It also discusses the division of labor between different categories of intellectuals, one that is made possible in turn only by an underlying set of shared identifications. It argues that the successful establishment of a postcolonial state does not abolish the affects and energies that cling to modernity as a project undertaken by state intellectuals. The chapter concludes by assessing the limits of state intellectualism.

Keywords:   state intellectuals, rural women, Tamil Nadu, Antonio Gramsci, childbirth, hospitals, family planning, modernity, state intellectualism

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