Date of Graduation

5-2015

Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Department or Program

Anthropology

First Advisor

Professor Greg Beckett

Abstract

This project compares the interaction between the government and the population in both Peru and Sri Lanka through the 20th century, focusing on the provision of care (services, benefits, and recognition as provided by the governing apparatus) as a locus for their most meaningful interaction. The provision of care can be seen as a form of communication established in certain practices, symbols, and discourses. Moreover, the provision of care works to reorient the subject population into a more beneficial relationship with the state–notably one of increased dependence and trust. Through the elaboration of what care is and how it functions, a care ideology is established creating a terrain through which the politics of the governed and the governing alike can be legitimized. Care ideology can then be considered a further articulation of the state idea, creating a dialogue about how governance can or should be affected within a certain context. These case studies then illustrate the terrain over which both of these governing bodies work. In Sri Lanka, the governing apparatus provides a means for citizens to live a symbolically meaningful life through paddy farming. In Peru, the governing apparatus provides access to the state through civil infrastructure like roads and education. Through care, material goods become invested with meaning and the state idea becomes materialized. Care is a then substantial project undertaken by the state to ensure its own reproduction and further widen the possibilities for the state project to be effected through its own citizens.

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