Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Anthropology in the East: The founders of Indian sociology and anthropology (edited with Patricia Uberoi and Satish Deshpande), New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2007, Paperback 2010

Anthropology and sociology have long histories in India. Yet, with the exception of fieldwork experience, there is neither much material on the institutional and material contexts of these disciplines, nor on the practices of pioneering anthropologists and sociologists.

The present book fills an important gap. While the sociology of India is not purely a national phenomenon (significant scholars and centres studying India exist outside), and while ‘Western’ theories have been important, this book shows that local influences and personalities played a major role in shaping the field.

This volume spans a century of life and work, from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, and focuses on scholars with varying research trajectories. However, it also shows the threads that bind these scholars and mark out the particularities of the Indian experience: for example:  their common concern with nation-building, social reform, and  the value of science.

Combining biography, institutional history and critical assessment, this book will interest all anthropologists, sociologists and South Asianists, as well as those interested in intellectual history and biography.