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Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

Democratic Technologies of Speech: From WWII America to Postcolonial Delhi

Authors

  • Matthew Hull

    Corresponding author
    1. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
      Department of Anthropology
      University of Michigan
      1085 S. University Ave.
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1107
      hullm@umich.edu
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Department of Anthropology
University of Michigan
1085 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1107
hullm@umich.edu

Abstract

This article traces putatively democratic speech and interactional techniques from their development during WWII to their translation into postindependence Delhi community development projects led by Ford Foundation consultants. Moving beyond a focus on high-level development discourse, this article describes the techniques of speech through which development was brought to ground and the ways of speaking that community development promoted in its target populations. The deployment of these techniques in Delhi shows how the promotion of democracy aggressively attacked existing forms of sociality within the city. [speech genres, democracy, technology, development, India]

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