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Q: anthropology ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: anthropology
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: uk50-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 29 Aug 2004 04:03 PDT
Expires: 28 Sep 2004 04:03 PDT
Question ID: 394091
list of thesis done on the chettiar/nagarathar community
Subject: Re: anthropology
Answered By: librariankt-ga on 27 Sep 2004 12:12 PDT
Hi UK50,

I found the following citation to a thesis in Digitial Dissertations
(formerly Dissertation Abstracts):

DATE    1985  
PAGES    484  
SOURCE    DAI-A 46/08, p. 2352, Feb 1986  
The dissertation presents an ethnohistorical study of the Nattukottai
Chettiars, the major banking caste of South India, from 1600 to 1930.
Based on archival and field research carried out in Tamil Nadu from
October 1979 to November 1981, it analyzes the social institutions and
activities of the caste, and demonstrates the pre-colonial roots of
Chettiar financial organization. Chapter One provides an introduction
to the Chettiars and describes previously published studies. Chapter
Two discusses the range of theoretical perspectives developed by
anthropologists and historians for interpreting Indian commerce,
generally. Chapter Three develops a model of Chettiar religious and
commercial activities in the seventeenth century, when caste members
confined their activities to small-scale, in-land salt trading.
Chapter Four provides an historical context for analyzing Chettiar
social organization by tracing the explosive growth of their Southeast
Asian financial empire from its early scattered mention in nineteenth
century East India Company documents to the prominent role it plays in
the Banking Enquiry Reports of 1930. Chapter Five describes the
'formal' organization of financial cooperation among caste members,
especially in regard to their system of deposit banking, exchange
banking, and collective decision-making about interest rates. The
'informal' bases of this organization are explored in Chapters Six and
Seven, which focus on descent-based cults and marriage alliance,
respectively. Chapter Eight concludes with a discussion of the
implications of Chettiar social organization for standard
anthropological conceptions of caste. The findings of the dissertation
bear directly on the nature of non-capitalist economic formations and
proto-industrialization, the impact of colonial rule on indigenous
commercial systems, and variety and change in India's caste and
kinship groups. They show not only that colonialization and captalist
penetration did not dissolve pre-colonial ties of caste and kinship,
but that Chettiars used these ties to take advantage of the commercial
world of colonial Southeast Asia.
In addition, the following three articles were found in Sociological
Abstracts (all are to journal articles, not theses per se):

Record 1 of 3 
DN: Database Name 
    Sociological Abstracts 
TI: Title 
    Merchant Houses as Spectacles of Modernity in Rajasthan and Tamil 
AU: Author 
    Hardgrove, Anne 
SO: Source 
    Contributions to Indian Sociology, New Series, 2002, 36, 1-2, 
    Jan-Aug, 323-364 
AB: Abstract 
    This article examines the production of visually spectacular 
    ancestral houses by migrant merchants in colonial South Asia 
    between 1860 & 1930, as well as the recent transformation of these 
    now-abandoned homes into sites of tourism. I primarily consider 
    the elaborately painted houses belonging to the migrant Marwari 
    traders of north India in the Shekhawati region of eastern 
    Rajasthan, & comment upon the south Indian ornamental houses built 
    by the Chettiar merchants in Madras Presidency, now known as Tamil 
    Nadu. I argue that these empty mansions are being rapidly 
    appropriated into new objects of visual consumption through 
    international tourism, thereby transforming spaces of the private 
    into spaces of public access. Visual practices in India have to be 
    understood as part of a global & capitalist modernity, & not just 
    in terms of Indian pre-modern past. Through practices of tourism, 
    spatial geographies of diasporic identity formation are being 
    re-created through a visual orientation of the past. 9 Figures, 49 
    References. [Copyright 2002 Sage Publications, Inc.]. 
Record 2 of 3 
DN: Database Name 
    Sociological Abstracts 
TI: Title 
    Individuality and Achievement in South Indian Social History 
AU: Author 
    Mines, Mattison 
SO: Source 
    Modern Asian Studies, 1992, 26, 1, Feb, 129-156 
AB: Abstract 
    To argue that the role of the individual in India has been 
    understated, the Beeri Chettiars, a merchant class of Madras City, 
    in southern India, are studied during three time periods: 
    1652-1708, the moiety division of castes reflected the primary 
    competition of individual headmen-brokers, each of whom stood at 
    the apex of an intercaste production & trade network; 1717-1816, 
    headman-traders segmented the town into constituency domains, 
    enabling the heads of the moieties to compete within their own 
    territories for economic preeminence; & 1867-1890, leading men 
    garnered allies & forced a restructuring of the Beeri Chettiar 
    caste, curtailing the autonomous authority of headmen in the civil 
    courts & imposing bureaucratic standards of administration that 
    deflated their power. Thus, individualism does play a role in 
    Indian society, though not based on the values of equality & 
    liberty that characterize Western individualism. Different traits 
    include (1) individualistic social identity defined by public 
    reputation; (2) uniqueness marked by preeminence; (3) achieved 
    identity associated with a deliberate striving after personal 
    gain, dominance, & prestige; & (4) autonomy marked by 
    responsibility for who one is & what one does. 54 References. G. 
Record 3 of 3 
DN: Database Name 
    Sociological Abstracts 
TI: Title 
    Banking and Trading Castes in the Colonial Period: The Case of the 
    Nattukotai Chettiars of Tamil Nadu 
AU: Author 
    Menon, Ramdas 
SO: Source 
    South Asia Bulletin, 1985, 5, 1, spring, 19-26 
AB: Abstract 
    An examination of the economic activities of the Nattukotai 
    Chettiars, a small group of bankers & moneylenders from Tamil 
    Nadu, India, who migrated to Southeast Asia in the early 
    nineteenth century & established a wealthy & influential 
    community. A historical analysis of the pattern of their business 
    operations between 1800 & the 1930s reveals that government trade 
    policies & lack of opportunities for investment within the 
    slow-growth nonagricultural sector of the Madras Presidency were 
    the factors primarily responsible for the Chettiars' migration to 
    the British colonies of Malaya, Ceylon, & Burma. This shift of 
    operations abroad did not mean a complete break with the 
    Presidency, as business headquarters & Chettiar women remained in 
    India, but involvement grew more limited. Some speculations are 
    offered as to why the Chettiars shifted from traditional 
    moneylending activities to industrial investment, & the 
    devastating effects of the Depression on their businesses are 
    explored. Comparisons are made to the Parsis & Marwaris, other 
    merchant groups operating in the colonial era. 1 Table, 30 
    References. K. Hyatt. 

These four articles were found in the International Bibliography of
the Social Sciences:

Record 1 of 4 
DN: Database Name 
    IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences 
TI: Title 
    Caste and capitalism in colonial India: the Nattukottai Chettiars 
AU: Author 
    Rudner, David West 
SO: Source 
    American ethnologist, vol. 24 no. 1, pp. 255-256, Feb 1997 
Record 2 of 4 
DN: Database Name 
    IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences 
TI: Title 
    Caste and capitalism in colonial India: the Nattukottai Chettiars 
AU: Author 
    Rudner, David West 
SO: Source 
    Contributions to Indian sociology, vol. 31 no. 1, pp. 147-148, 
    Jan-Jun 1997 
Record 3 of 4 
DN: Database Name 
    IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences 
TI: Title 
    Caste and capitalism in colonial India: the Nattukottai Chettiars 
AU: Author 
    Rudner, David West 
SO: Source 
    Asian studies review, vol. 20 no. 1, pp. 203-205, Jul 1996 
Record 4 of 4 
DN: Database Name 
    IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences 
TI: Title 
    Chettiar finance in colonial Asia 
AU: Author 
    Schrader, Heiko 
SO: Source 
    Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, vol. 121 no. 1, pp. 101-126, 1996 

I hope these are of interest to you.  I found them by searching
various databases (ones that yielded unique results are noted above)
for the terms "chettiar OR nagarathar".  In most cases very little was

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