Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/22061
Title: IDENTITY POLITICS, POWER AND RESISTANCE IN DISASTER RESPONSE: A CASE STUDY OF THE 2004 TSUNAMI RELIEF, REHABILITATION AND RECOVERY IN TAMIL NADU
Authors: KANCHAN GANDHI
Keywords: disaster-response, identity-politics, elite, subaltern, resistance, gender
Issue Date: 16-Aug-2010
Source: KANCHAN GANDHI (2010-08-16). IDENTITY POLITICS, POWER AND RESISTANCE IN DISASTER RESPONSE: A CASE STUDY OF THE 2004 TSUNAMI RELIEF, REHABILITATION AND RECOVERY IN TAMIL NADU. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the identity politics, (i.e. the interplay of power and resistance) among differently (dis)advantaged groups in the response to the 2004 Tsunami in coastal Tamil Nadu. The central theme is the examination of tensions between the state, civil society and political society in the implementation of disaster Relief, Rehabilitation and Recovery (RRR) programmes which is done by drawing on the work of Indian post-colonial and post-development scholars. The concepts of participation, elite-capture, resistance and exclusion are central to understanding and analysing identity-politics in the Tsunami response in this thesis. These exclusions may be gendered, class or caste-based and arise from the intersection of multiple vectors of social inequality. Further, the importance of NGOs and their role in resisting the state and empowering/disempowering the subaltern groups is also examined at different levels. The processes of power and resistance at the scale of the state, community and household are examined through in-depth interviews with government officials, NGO representatives and affected members of the community. The key arguments made in this thesis are first that the specific vulnerabilities of some of the members of fishing communities of Tamil Nadu were aggravated and perpetuated in the post-Tsunami period through the treatment of community as homogenous by the state and most NGOs; and second the positive role of another group of NGOs (such as those that have a long presence in the field and oppose the state¿s neo-liberal policies) was instrumental in empowering the subaltern groups by enabling resistance among them against oppressive state and community relations. Finally, I argue that post-disaster interventions of the state and civil society should be based on the complexities created by the intersections of different vectors of social inequalities instead of treating all households as equally disadvantaged due to the impacts of a disaster.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/22061
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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