I'm slowly getting around to uploading the podcasts from the symposium on Yoga and the Body that Dr Shameem Black and I organised in 2016. This link will take you to the first uploaded podcast, which is the keynote address given by Prof. Joseph Alter.
I've started on my presentation for the AJJ conference this weekend. I 'll be talking about aspects of my PhD dissertation.
This paper provides an overview of the socialisation process within the social network of the ‘Temple
of Peace’ organisation. Shanti Mandir is a new religious movement founded in 1987 by the current
spiritual head, Swami Nityānanda Saraswati. The social network consists of thousands of people
spread across a global network of devotees. During multiple visits between 2009 and 2013, I
conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the organisation’s main ashram (cloistered community), which
is located on the west coast of India, Gujarat. I met thousands of people from all across the globe who
came to be educated on how to perform and embody a particular disposition, and establish an internal
definition of self based on the ‘authentic’ and ‘legitimate’ yogic identity promoted by Shanti Mandir
(cf. Jenkins 1994). In this paper I ask the following question: What makes the groups different? I
answer this question through employing Legitimation Code Theory’s first analytical dimension,
namely, Specialisation. This is done to identify the various ways in which the symbolic exchanges of
capital between the groups occur, how the internal nature of the competition forstatus and recognition
determines legitimate participation, and how the distinct hierarchies operate based on observations of
the spatial and gendered relations between the groups. This demonstrates that the hieratic structure of
the network is not linear; but, instead, it can be understood as a three-sided pyramid. Each group
works interdependently to support the guru’s mission, yet engages in intra-group competitions for
status and symbolic resources towards becoming ‘authentic’ members.
The conference abstracts, schedule and poster can be downloaded from the links below:
AJJ Fall Meeting 2017 Abstracts: https://goo.gl/vgZqef
AJJ Fall Meeting 2017 Schedule: https://goo.gl/Z4v1KU
AJJ Fall Meeting 2017 Poster: https://goo.gl/CY1w7e