Culture Studies (17)
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    Reflections on Cambridge by: Alan Macfarlane

    The traditions and creativity of Cambridge University have survived 800 years. In celebration, this first-ever combined historical and anthropological account explores the culture, the customs, the colleges and the politics of this famous institution. As professor there for nearly forty years, the author sets forth on a personal but also dispassionate attempt to understand how this ancient university developed and changed, and how it continues to influence those who pass through it. This book delves into the history and architecture as well as the charm and the ghosts of Cambridge presenting a valuable resource for anyone who studies, teaches, visits, or is intrigued by this great intellectual centre

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    Religious Division and Social Conflict: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in Rural India by: Peggy Froerer

    Religious Division and Social Conflict: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in Rural India is an ethnographic account of the emergence of Hindu nationalism in a tribal (adivasi) community in Chhattisgarh, central India. It is argued that the successful spread of Hindu nationalism in this area is due to the involvement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant Hindu nationalist organization, in local affairs. While active engagement in ‘civilizing’ strategies has enabled the RSS to legitimize its presence and endear itself to the local community, the book argues that participation in more aggressive strategies has made it possible for this organization to fuel and attach local tensions to a broader Hindu nationalist agenda.

    The book further argues that while the RSS is the active agent in this process, its specific impact is a function of its relation of opposition to the Church. The influence of the latter, which was well established in the area, has recently been challenged by the RSS. In order to protect and strengthen their respective positions of dominance, both institutions have been instrumental in dividing the local population. This division has often been expressed in conflict over land, healthcare and political leadership.

    The book engages with themes such as religion, land relations, liquor disputes, health care, and political leadership.

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    Shades of Difference: Selected Writings of Rabindranath Tagore by: Radha Chakravarty

    This unusual collection brings together Rabindranath Tagore's writings on forms of difference based on gender, caste, class, nation, community, religion, language, art, literature, philosophy, social custom and political belief. Via new translations, along with Tagore’s own writings, lectures and conversations in English, this illustrated anthology presents his complex, dynamic approach to commonly perceived dualities — such as life/death, nature/culture, male/female, tradition/modernity, East/West, local/universal, urban/rural etc. — to highlight his humanistic vision and its significance for us today.

    The accompanying Audio Visual material, Tagore & His World, provides a broader context for Tagore’s evolution as a thinker and artist, offering glimpses of his life, travels, educational vision and creative experiments in the visual and performing arts. Through a range of contemporary adaptations from diverse sources and in different languages, it marks how Tagore’s spirit lives on today, his legacy undiminished, for the world at large.

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    Society and Culture in India: A Reader by: Subas Mohapatra

    Society and Culture in India is a collection of eighteen carefully chosen essays written by internationally famous sociologists whose work is on India. It has been designed to take the reader through the discipline of Sociology to get an understanding of the complex nature of Indian society.
    The editor of the volume, Subas Mohapatra has very perceptively grouped the various readings in the book under five main heads, they are: ‘An Introduction to Sociology and Pioneering Sociologists’, ‘Sociology of Caste Past and Present’, ‘Rural and Agrarian Society’, ‘Poverty and Development’ and ‘Contemporary Social Issues’.
    The essays in this book dwell on several separate subject areas of sociology. This enables the Reader to provide a comprehensive view of the discipline of sociology itself as well as the society it tries to understand.
    Some of the main concerns of this book are: growth and development of sociology in India; changing nature of caste, village and rural society; sociological analysis of poverty and contemporary issues associated with civil society; gender inequality and secularism and communalism.
    The Reader does not try to be thematically exhaustive but it nevertheless enables one to see order beneath the everyday confusions of life in India.

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    The Experience of Discrimination in France: Why Me? by:

    Racial discrimination hurts more than discrimination on the basis of class. This is because one can move up the class ladder but one cannot change one’s physical features or skin colour. This remarkable book, The Experience of Discrimination in France: Why Me? brings out graphically that in the developed world like France for instance, the discriminated do not starve or get locked up but they nevertheless suffer pain and discrimination both latent and manifest. The authors, François Dubet, Olivier Cousin, Eric Macé and Sandrine Rui flesh out each of these, which makes the everyday life of the discriminated, come alive at every turn.

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    Unbecoming Modern: Colonialism, Modernity, Colonial Modernities by: Saurabh Dube, Ishita Banerjee-Dube,

    In this volume well-known scholars from India and Latin America – Enrique Dussel, Madhu Dubey, Walter Mignolo and Sudipta Sen to name a few – discuss the concepts of modernity and colonialism, and describe how the two relate to each other.

    Unbecoming Modern: Colonialism, Modernity, Colonial Modernities explores the vital impact of the colonial pasts of India, Mexico, China and the even the Unites States on the processes through which these countries have become modern.

    The collection is unique as it brings together a range of disciplines and perspectives. The topics discussed include the Zapatista movement in southern Mexico, the image of the South in recent African-American literature, the theories of Andre Gunder Frank about the early modernization of Asian countries, and the contradictions of the colonial state in India.

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    Viramma: Life of a Dalit by: Viramma, Jean-Luc Racine, Josiane Racine,

    This is the first Indian edition of this remarkable book which created a great impact in France and was subsequently translated into English and Italian. This edition carries a fresh Afterword by Jean-Luc and Josiane Racine.

    Viramma, an untouchable woman by birth, and listed as one of the authors, narrated the story of her life over a period of ten years to Josiane Racine, a Tamil-born ethnomusicologist educated in France. This book is the result of that conversation.