Culture and Development

Studies under this theme have largely been historical. They explore the cultural and ideological bases of development in Kerala and the shifts in culture and ideology that shape particular development outcomes. The history of the shaping of public consent for state-sponsored artificial birth-control, the discursive dimensions of community assertion in development, the sub-nationalist ideology bolstered by developmentalism forming the basis of post-independence Kerala, and the discursive dimensions of gender and development have been actively explored at CDS. These studies have mostly relied on archival research and importantly, textual analysis, as their principal methods. Essentially, they represent interdisciplinary research at CDS which has appeared in a whole range of internationally and nationally renowned research journals across the social sciences and humanities. They examine the intertwining of development, politics, culture, and social institutions in Kerala that significantly shape the people’s well-being. Other studies include those on the cultural and historical aspects of women’s mobility into politics and paid work. Recent studies include those of the impacts of extraneous cultural flows that shaped Kerala’s specific historical experience of socio-political change in the twentieth century facilitated by mobility across colonial and post colonial geographies.