“Rupien in der Dollar-Zone”

2018, Rupien in der Dollar-Zone: Geld als Prozess und Medium gesellschaftlicher Teilhabe. Eine Ethnographie (Badaga, Nilgiris District, Indien). Lit: Münster. Reihe: Indus. Ethnologische Südasien-Studien, Band 18.

Published in German, “Rupien in der Dollar-Zone” is essentially a classic village-based ethnography of the Badaga people in the South Indian Nilgiri Hills (in particular the so-called Dollar-Zone). However, what the book explores in the first place is the role of money as a “total social fact” (Marcel Mauss).

Through the lens of money “Rupien in der Dollar-Zone” delves deeply into essentials such as kinship, love and alliance, ritual, foundation mythology, ancestor worship and settlement-patterns. Thereby it explores local (monetary) history and culture as well as the development of the economy: the colonial and the independent periods, the ups and downs of a local tea-industry; the fundaments, functions, values, infrastructures and techniques of contemporary financial landscapes; the role of education and labor migration; the ‘acts’ of transaction and the staged performances of monetary circuits along with the vivid traditions of “running after the money” in nearly all aspects of everyday live and culture.