Myth & Identity III: Narrative Construction of one’s Social Entity by Parit Communities in Maharashtra

Guy Poitevin


On account of the principle of double significance, narratives as social forms of symbolic communication can carry several unsaid and possibly opposite significations. By taking this view into account, this article attempts to prove that ‘a narrative may discursively function as a covert asset for cultural and social counter moves of counter-power, and unavowed wishes of dissent or discontent.’ Eight oral narratives have been taken for study, collected from the Parit community of Maharashtra, a community traditionally assigned the occupation of washermen in the service of the village’s dominant castes. This also attempts to represent the cognitive status of the eight narratives to prove a self-configuration of Parits within a given dispensation and the dynamics of a discursive construction of one’s social entity as Parit.

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