Vagabonds at the Margins: Acculturation, Subalterns, and Competing Worth

Hari Sreekumar & Rohit Varman (2018)

Journal of Macromarketing. 39(1), p. 37-52

Abstract. This study examines the cultural experiences of subaltern migrants from Kerala, India to the Middle East. It draws upon the French pragmatic sociology with attention to convention theory to cast in sharp relief different interpretations of worth that influence subaltern migrants or vagabonds as Zygmunt Bauman has labelled them. This study shows that vagabonds use different regimes of worth and justification to resist domination and to shape their cultural encounters with host and home cultures. It explains how existing acculturation research lacks insights about worth and regimes of justification that hinder it from fully understanding the role of domination and cultural experiences of subalterns.

Keywords: subaltern, acculturation, migrants, worth, justification, convention theory, pragmatic sociology, globalization

Link to the review