Mattison Mines

in Public Faces, Private Voices

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780520084780
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520914599 | DOI:

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This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the importance of civic individuality for the Tamils in George Town. Tamils' values emphasize individual compliance with the interests of seniors, family, and caste rather than individual freedom or equality. The manifested individuality of each person is observed and characterized by those who know him or her, and the distribution of those who know a person defines the spatial and social dimensions of the person's individuality. Given the personalized nature of Tamil society, it is not surprising that institutions are characterized in terms of their leaders, and each is valued or disregarded according to how its leaders act.

Keywords: civic individuality; Tamils; George Town; values; society; individual freedom; equality

Chapter.  4439 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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