The Modern Anthropology of India is an accessible textbook providing a critical overview of the ethnographic work done in India since 1947. It assesses the history of research in each region and serves as a practical and comprehensive guide to the main themes dealt with by ethnographers. It highlights key analytical concepts and paradigms that came to be of relevance in particular regions in the recent history of research in India, and which possibly gained a pan-Indian or even trans-Indian significance.
Structured according to the states of the Indian union, contributors raise several key questions, including:
- What themes were ethnographers interested in?
- What are the significant ethnographic contributions?
- How are peoples, communities and cultural areas represented?
- How has the ethnographic research in the area developed?
Filling a significant gap in the literature, the book is an invaluable resource to students and researchers in the field of Indian anthropology/ethnography, regional anthropology and postcolonial studies. It is also of interest to students of South Asian studies in general as it provides an extensive and critical overview of regionally based ethnographic activity undertaken in India.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The many Indias: the whole and its parts Peter Berger and Frank Heidemann 2. Andhra Pradesh: Economic and Social Relations P. Pratap Kumar 3. Bihar: Caste, Class, and Violence Carolyn Brown Heinz 4. Chhattisgarh: At the Crossroads Christopher A. Gregory 5. Gujarat: Transformations of Hierarchy Helene Basu 6. Jammu and Kashmir: dispute and diversity Martin Sökefeld 7. Jharkhand: Alternative citizenship in an "Adivasi State" Marine Carrin 8. Karnataka: Caste, Dominance and Social Change in the ‘Indian Village’ Aya Ikegame 9. Kerala: Plurality and consensus Heike Moser and Paul Younger 10. Madhya Pradesh: Anthropology and Development Ramdas Lamb 11. Maharashtra: Constructing Regional Identities Anthony Carter and Amit Desai 12. Northeast India: Ethnography and Politics of Identity Tanka B. Subba and Jelle J.P. Wouters 13. Odisha: Rajas and Prajas in a multi-segmented society Tina Otten and Uwe Skoda 14. Punjab and Haryana: Kinship and Marriage Georg Pfeffer 15. Rajasthan: Anthropological Perspectives on Tribal Identity Maxine Weisgrau 16. Tamil Nadu: Inequality and Status Gabriele Alex and Frank Heidemann 17. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh: Ritual Healing William S. Sax 18. Uttar Pradesh: Untouchability and politics Manuela Ciotti 19. West Bengal: Colonial Legacy, Class Formation and Politics Henrike Donner
Peter Berger teaches Anthropology and Indian Religions at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His ethnographic research in highland Orissa focuses on religion, food, ritual, social structure and cultural change.
Frank Heidemann is Professor for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Munich, Germany. His research interests include society and religion in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, as well as visual anthropology in general.