From Fieldwork to Research Theory on an Indian Pilgrimage


  • Rémy Delage SOAS, London



Pilgrimage, South India


Using as the example of the pilgrimage to Sabarimala (Kerala, South India), I propose here to explore the links existing between sources, research hypothesis and research theory in social sciences. The choice of research materials in the process of investigation, sources of knowledge about the studied object, is not mere random sampling; it is processed in accordance with the questions of the researcher. It inevitably assumes a selective dimension. After a critical reading of the sources used by Indian studies, I will highlight on the connections between the sources and the methodological tools on the one hand, and the major research hypothesis about pilgrimage on the other. The links between the data taken from the field and the legitimacy of scientific discourse on India will be examined at the end before providing some keys for the interpretation of Sabarimala phenomenon in South India during the contemporary period.


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Author Biography

  • Rémy Delage, SOAS, London

    Rémy Delage has a Doctorate in Geography from the University of Bordeaux, France. His PhD dealt with the geographical and anthropological aspects of the Sabarimala pilgrimage (Kerala) in South India. While affiliated to the Department of Anthropology and the Centre of South Asian Studies at SOAS, London, his post-doctoral research (2004-2005) aimed at deepening one of his major interests, the contemporary dynamics of geographical discourse and knowledge in India. His current projects concern socio-demographical aspects of religion, with a special focus on contemporary Islam (CSH-IRASEC). 31 rue de Cotte 75012 Paris France


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How to Cite

Delage, R. (2005). From Fieldwork to Research Theory on an Indian Pilgrimage. Fieldwork in Religion, 1(2), 105-121.