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A Multinational Township as a Revitalization Movement: A Case Study on Auroville in South India

Lunds universitet/Socialantropologi
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  • Hegemonic Decline
  • Cognitive Anthropology
  • Sri Aurobindo
  • Revitalization Movements
  • Auroville
  • Acculturation
  • New Age
  • Social Sciences
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences


Auroville is a spiritual intentional community in South India. It consists mainly of Westerners and Indians and they share a common belief in the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, a philosophy that has clear references to the New Age Movement in the West. I have in this thesis pointed to the cultural exchange that has taken place between the Western world and India, resulting in an influence of Hindu attributes in the West, and Western ideas in India. This acculturation process has resulted in the formation of the neo-Hindu movement (which Aurobindo is a part of) in India and the New Age movement in the West, both sharing common key ideas. This cultural exchange has also resulted in Westerners seeking to India and Auroville, in relation to hegemonic decline, in a way to construct new identities and find new loyalties, thus promoting a new socio-cultural system to the West. Auroville is here seen as a social space from where to direct culture critique, through international engagement, and diffusion by example. It is also a social space uphold financially and legally by the Indian government, thus make it possible for Westerners to mobilize in complex multinational formations as a comprehensive force, and can thus be understood through the lens of revitalization theory. The Purpose with this thesis has been to answer to Anthony Wallace’s suggestion for further elaboration with revitalization theory, in a way to increase our understanding of this special kind of culture change.

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