Place making in luminal times: A case study among karnataka migrants in Goa

Ajay Bailey, H. R. Channakki, Inge Hutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article describes how migrants make places in host communities by inscribing these places with parts of their culture. The place making discussion in this article is situated within the cultural-temporal framework of liminality. Data are drawn from fieldwork carried out among migrant and mobile men from Karnataka in Goa. In the migrant settlements in Goa the social production and reproduction of places shift from the private sphere such as homes of the migrants to a more public sphere such as the temple. The manner in which migrants build, furnish and decorate their houses is strongly influenced by their culture prevailing in their place of origin. Further, the use of the Kannada language in the migrant settlements becomes a cultural-linguistic marker through which both inclusion and exclusion into the migrant group are determined. Language as a marker of identity aids in place making for people who live in the settlements. Reconfiguration of public places is articulated in the construction of the Yallingeshwara Matha, a Lingayat monastery built by the migrants. The establishment of the monastery is an expression of the social power that prevails in the migrant settlement. Thus place making by the migrants is effected through inscribing the Goan landscape with parts of their culture such as decoration of homes, language, schools and temples. Hence migrant settlements should be examined not merely as peripheral urban sites but more specifically as cultural microcosms which are spatialised by the social relations. © Serials Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalLanguages in India
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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