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What is in a name? How caste names affect the production of situated knowledge

Patel, K; (2018) What is in a name? How caste names affect the production of situated knowledge. Gender, Place and Culture , 24 (7) pp. 1011-1030. 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1372385. Green open access

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Abstract

Patel, Desai, Kothari … to those literate in the workings of caste these names describe a network and its power in relation to other networks, they infer the rules of engagement within and between network members, and they ascribe a geographical terrain to home. In research, rules of behaviour and assumptions of place that are coded into names can affect access to respondents, their disclosure of data and subsequent claims to validity. This article explores the coded expectations of knowledge embedded in a name as seen by someone (me) fairly illiterate in the workings of caste by utilising the principle of Bourdieu’s doxa – a ‘pre-reflexive intuitive knowledge’ – to untangle and explore the effect of names on the production of partial and situated knowledge. Drawing on fieldwork in Gujarat, India, I analyse reflexive accounts through the lenses of feminist geographers and critical race scholars to illustrate the effects of being unknowingly and unwillingly placed into a social hierarchy of power in the field, introduce the idea of ‘us-ing’ (an opposite of othering) to describe researcher-respondent relations, and explore how readers might interpret the presence or absence of data and claims to validity. These accounts make visible the effects of positionality on knowledge production in ways that speak to feminist-postcolonial research, and specifically to feminist researchers of colour conducting research away from ‘home’.

Type: Article
Title: What is in a name? How caste names affect the production of situated knowledge
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1372385
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2017.1372385
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Keywords: Positionality, Reflexivity, Diaspora, Names, Doxa, Caste
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571085
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