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Department of Social Anthropology


Dr Meredith McLaughlin (University of Cambridge)

Unraveling the story of an Indian grocery collective: An iterative account

In this talk, I trace the lived experience of India’s variegated development landscape: a complex constellation of state, private sector, and civil society actors. I explore this political economic context through a multifocal account of a women’s grocery collective in rural India. Through the iterative retelling of a series of ethnographic events, I untangle the aspirations and structural conditions that led to the group’s emergence and sustained it amid uncertainty. I show how the women who participated in this association sought to secure their material needs, negotiated the allure of opportunity, attempted to mitigate doubt, and forged relations of mutuality. Each retelling recasts events, revealing in turn how distributive expectations, entrepreneurial ethics, and the logics of a local moral economy inform women’s practices of subsistence. 

Friday, 20 October, 2023 - 15:15 to 17:00
Event location: 
Edmund Leach room, Department of Social Anthropology