Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Defining oppression, demanding childhood : the vision and work of an Indian social action group Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4x51hn12z

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  • Mukti Ashram is a rehabilitation center in north India that works with ex-child laborer boys. Fieldwork completed at the ashram in 1997-98 centered around the issue of the organization's attempt to enact social change through the engineering of community within the ashram's walls. Several fundamental processes that contribute to this goal have been identified: the construction and presentation of personal narratives which are ideally encased in a common structure; the encompassment of heterogeneity through careful focus on a singular point of commonality; and, the creation of national and transnational ties of horizontal solidarity, literal and "imagined." The nature of the activists' intervention, which becomes codified in the dominant ethos of the institution, presents an internal contradiction that is essentially unresolvable. It is found that power is always to some extent fought using those same tools of the powerful. Though in this case their goal of empowering the boys is to some extent compromised, such attempts still constitute a positive influence. Mukti Ashram's example demonstrates both the constraints and opportunities that may be met by organizations that work with subjugated groups.
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