Postal address: Avd för socialantropologi, Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Visiting address: House Key, Campus Valla
Fax: +46 (0)13 14 94 03
Web page: http://www.liu.se/ikk/socialantropologi
Contact person: Director of Studies Björn Alm, phone +46 (0)13 281811
Social anthropology at Linköping offers a stimulating four-term introduction to social anthropology as well as specialised courses on issues of gender, environment, ethnicity, globalisation and modernisation.
Research connected to South Asia:
Björn Alm has worked at Linköping University since 1997, and been Director of Studies for the Division since 2001. He was previously for many years connected to the Dept. of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University, where he also defended his doctoral dissertation on a thesis titled ” The un/selfish leader. Changing notions in a Tamil Nadu village”, on Friday 5 May 2006. Faculty opponent was Dr. Jens Lerche, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, UK. Read the abstract (with a link to the full-text dissertation).
Abstract: ‘The un/selfish’ leader explores notions of selfishness, as they were perceived by people in the village of Ekkaraiyur, Tamil Nadu, India, at a time they associated with thorough changes in their lives. Discussing locally held notions about agrarian change, seen as causing the erosion of earlier village loyalties and leading to the emergence of a new type of leaders, the study focus on the censure of the alleged corruption of these leaders. Expressed in a rich repertoire of stories about the ideals of leadership and about the excellence of the past and foreign societies, the censure was routinely voiced in public debates and in everyday conversations. Set against a background an increasing role of the state for the people in Ekkaraiyur, the censure of leaders implied a critique of the contemporary society they were taken to represent. Moreover, the study argues that the critique was grounded in evaluations of individualism and selfishness in human nature.
The study is based on fieldwork carried out in Ekkaraiyur between 1988 and 1990.