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Modern Indian Culture and Society

Edited by Knut A. Jacobsen

Routledge – 2009 – 1,795 pages

Series: Critical Concepts in Asian Studies

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    June 8th 2009


Research on Indian culture and society has been conducted from a dizzying range of perspectives. However, in recent decades it has been particularly characterized by a change in focus from the past to the present; from the worldview of the élites to that of the subalterns; from philosophy to everyday life; and from hierarchy to the critiques of hierarchy and the sources of equality in Indian culture.

More dramatic than the changes in the focus of research are the changes in Indian society itself. Urbanization, the liberalization and globalization of the economy, the IT revolution, the success of the global Indian diaspora, the affirmation of religious identities and reaffirmation of ancient world views, reinterpretations of history, new medias and transnational megagurus, and new political landscapes denote some of these processes.

This new title from Routledge makes sense of these changes by bringing together the very best scholarly work on India's contemporary transformation. As the world's largest democracy emerges as an economic and cultural superpower, there is a pressing need for a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of Indian culture and society. This four-volume collection answers that need and will be welcomed as a vital one-stop research resource.


Volume I. Identity

Part 1. Freedom, Partition, and Aftermath

A. Freedom

1. Jim Masselos, ‘"The Magic Touch of Being Free": The Rituals of Independence on August 15’, in Jim Masselos (ed.)., India: Creating a Modern Nation (Sterling Publishers, 1990), pp. 37–53.

B. Partition and Aftermath

2. H. V. Brasted and Carl Bridge, ‘The Transfer of Power in South Asia: An Historiographical Review’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 1994, 17, 1, 93–114.

3. Ian Talbot, ‘Literature and the Human Drama of the 1947 Partition’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 1995, 18, 37–56.

4. Ananya Jahanara Kabir, ‘Gender, Memory, Trauma: Women’s Novels on the Partition of India’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2005, 25, 1, 177–90.

Part 2. The Past in the Present

5. Amartya Sen, ‘On Interpreting India’s Past’, in Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal (eds.), Nationalism, Democracy and Development: State and Politics in India (Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 10–35.

6. Dipesh Chakravarty, ‘Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History: Who Speaks for "Indian" Pasts?’, Representations, 1992, 37, Winter, 1–26.

7. Richard M. Eaton, ‘(Re)imag(in)ing Otherness: A Postmortem for the Postmodern in India’, Journal of World History, 2000, 11, 1, 57–78.

8. Ramachandra Guha, ‘The Challenge of Contemporary History’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 June 2008, 192–200.

Part 3. Democracy and Development

9. Bhikhu Parekh, ‘Jawaharlal Nehru and the Crisis of Modernization’, in Upendra and Bhikhu Parekh (eds.), Crisis and Change in Contemporary India (Sage Publications, 1995), pp. 21–56.

10. Ashutosh Varshney, ‘Why Democracy Survives’, Journal of Democracy, 1998, 9, 3, 36–50.

11. Pranab Bardhan, ‘Democracy and Distributive Politics in India’, in Ian Shapiro, Peter A. Swenson, and Daniela Donno (eds.), The Politics of Distribution in Democracies (New York University Press, 2008), pp. 280–97.

12. Atul Kohli, ‘Can Democracies Accommodate Ethnic Nationalism? Rise and Decline of Self-Determination Movements in India’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 1997, 56, 2, 325–44.

13. Gurharpal Singh, ‘The Punjab Crisis Since 1984: A Reassesment’, in Subrata K. Mitra and R. Alison Lewis (eds.), Subnational Movements in South Asia (Westview Press, 1996), pp. 104–23.

Part 4. Violence

14. Amitav Ghosh, ‘The Ghost of Indira Gandhi’, The New Yorker, 17 July 1995.

15. Robert G. Wirsing, ‘Unholy Alliance: Religion and Political Violence in South Asia’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2007, 30, 1, 25–42.

16. Dipak K. Gupta, ‘The Naxalites and the Maoist Movement in India: Birth, Demise, and Reincarnation’, Democracy and Security, 2007, 3, 2, 157–88.

17. Sumit Ganguly and R. Harrison Wagner, ‘India and Pakistan: Bargaining in the Shadow of Nuclear War’, The Journal of Strategic Studies, 2004, 27, 1, 479–507.

Part 5. Social Movements

18. David Hardiman, ‘Gandhian Activism in India After Independence’, Gandhi in His Times and Ours (Permanent Black, 2003), pp. 198–237.

19. Gail Omvedt, ‘Ambedkar and After: The Dalit Movement in India’, in Ghanshyam Shah (ed.), Dalit Identity and Politics (Sage Publications, 2001), pp. 143–59.

Volume II. Society

Part 6. Work, Economy, and Globalization

20. Jan Breman, ‘The Expulsion of Labour from the Formal Sector of the Economy’, in Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and Jan Lucassen (eds.), Workers in the Informal Sector: Studies in Labour History, 1800–2000 (Macmillan, 2005).

21. Leela Fernandes, ‘Restructuring the New Middle Class in Liberalizing India’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2000, 20, 1, 88–104.

22. Andrew Wyatt, ‘Building the Temples of Postmodern India: Economic Construction of National Identity’, Contemporary South Asia, 2005, 14, 4, 465–80.

23. Meghnad Desai, ‘Will India Ever Catch Up With China?’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2005, 37, 2, 321–36.

24. B. B. Mohanty, ‘We are Like the Living Dead: Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra, Western India’, The Journal of Peasant Studies, 2005, 32, 2, 243–76.

25. Craig Jeffrey, ‘Caste, Class, and Clientilism: A Political Economy of Everyday Corruption in Rural North India’, Economic Geography, 2002, 78, 1, 21–41.

26. Ali Mir, Matthew Biju, and Raza Mir, ‘The Codes of Migration: Contours of the Global Software Labor Market’, Cultural Dynamics, 2000, 12, 1, 5–33.

27. Sandhya Shukla, ‘Locations for South Asian Diasporas’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2001, 30, 551–72.

Part 7. Caste

28. André Béteille, ‘Caste in Contemporary India’, in C. J. Fuller (ed.), Caste Today (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 150–79.

29. Dipankar Gupta, ‘Caste and Politics: Identity Over System’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2005, 34, 409–27.

30. Susie Tharu et al., ‘Reservations and the Return to Politics’, Economic and Political Weekly, 8 Dec. 2007, 42, 49, 39–45.

31. Robert Deliége, ‘The Myths of Origins of the Indian Untouchables’, Man, 1993, 28, 533–49.

32. C. J. Fuller and Haripriya Narasimhan, ‘From Landlords to Software Engineers: Migration and Urbanization Among Tamil Brahmans, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 2008, 50, 1, 170–96.

33. Syed Ali, ‘Collective and Elective Ethnicity: Caste Among Urban Muslims in India’, Sociological Forum, 2002, 17, 4, 593–620.

Part 8. Gender

34. Ravinder Kaur, ‘Dispensable Daughters and Bachelor Sons: Sex Discrimination in North India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 26 July 2008, 109–14.

35. Jonathan Perry, ‘Ankalu’s Errant Wife: Sex, Marriage and Industry in Contemporary Chhattisgarh’, Modern Asian Studies, 2001, 35, 4, 783–820.

36. Filippo Osella and Caroline Osella, ‘Migration, Money and Masculinity in Kerala’, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2000, 6, 1, 117–33.

37. Gayatri Reddy, ‘"Men" Who Would be Kings: Celibacy, Emasculation, and the Reproduction of Hijras in Contemporary Indian Politics—Gender Identity, Social Stigma, and Political Corruption’, Social Research, 2003, 70, 1.

VolUME III. Religion

Part 9. Secularism

38. T. N. Madan, ‘The Crisis of Indian Secularism’, Modern Myths: Locked Minds (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 233–65.

39. Harold A. Gould, ‘The Babri Masjid and the Secular Contract’, in Veena Das, Dipankar Gupta, and Patricia Uberoi (eds.), Tradition, Pluralism and Identity: In Honour of T. N. Madan (Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1999), pp. 381–400.

40. Ashis Nandy, ‘The Politics of Secularism and the Recovery of Religious Tolerance’, in Veena Das (ed.), Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots and Survivors in South Asia (Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 69–93.

41. Barbara D. Metcalf, ‘Hindu Ethnonationalism, Muslim Jihad, and Secularism: Muslims in the Political Life of the Republic of India’, in Rafiq Dossani and Henry S. Rowen (eds.), Prospects for Peace in South Asia (Stanford University Press, 2005), pp. 215–38.

Part 10. Religious Traditions

A. Rituals

42. Jonathan P. Parry, ‘The Sacrifices of Modernity in a Soviet-Built Steel Town in Central India’, in Frances Pine and João Pina-Cabral (eds.), On the Margins of Religion (Berghahn Books, 2007), pp. 233–62.

43. Philip Lutgendorf, ‘Monkey in the Middle: The Status of Hanuman in Popular Hinduism’, Religion, 1997, 27, 311–32.

44. John Harriss, ‘"The Great Tradition" Globalizes: Reflections on Two Studies of "The Industrial Leaders" of Madras’, Modern Asian Studies, 2003, 37, 2, 327–62.

45. James G. Lochtefeld, ‘The Construction of the Kumbha Mela’, South Asian Popular Culture, 2004, 2, 2, 103–26.

B. What is Hinduism?

46. Romila Thapar, ‘Imagined Religious Communities? Ancient History and the Modern Search for a Hindu Identity’, Modern Asian Studies, 1989, 23, 2, 209–31.

47. Will Sweetman, ‘"Hinduism" and the History of "Religions": Protestant Presuppositions in the Critique of the Concept of Hinduism’, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 2003, 15, 329–53.

48. Vasudha Narayanan, ‘Diglossic Hinduism: Liberation and Lentils’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2000, 68, 4, 761–79.

C. Islam

49. Steven I. Wilkinson, ‘Muslims in Post-Independence India’, in John L. Esposito, John O. Voll, and Osman Bakar (eds.), Asian Islam in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 178–96.

50. Yoginder Sikand, ‘Stoking the Flames: Intra-Muslim Rivalries in India and the Saudi Connection’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 2007, 27, 1, 95–108.

51. Francis Robinson, ‘Islamic Reform and Modernities in South Asia’, Modern Asian Studies, 2008, 42, 2/3, 259–81.

D. Dalit Religious Traditions

52. David N. Lorenzen, ‘Tradition of Non-Caste Hinduism: Kabir Panth’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1987, 21, 2, 263–83.

53. George Oommon, ‘The Emerging Dalit Theology: A Historical Appraisal’, Indian Church History Review, 2000, XXXXIV, 1, 19–37.

54. Johannes Beltz, ‘Contesting Caste, Hierarchy, and Hinduism: Buddhist Discursive Practices in Maharashtra’, in Surendra Jondhale and Johannes Beltz (eds.), Reconstructing the World: B. R. Ambedkar and Buddhism in India (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 245–66.

E. Hinduism Goes West

55. Prema Kurien, ‘Multiculturalism, Immigrant Religion, and Diasporic Nationalism: The Development of an American Hinduism, Social Problems, 51, 3, 362–85.

Volume IV. Culture

Part 11. Food

56. Arjun Appadurai, ‘How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1988, 30, 1, 3–24.

57. Paul Robbins, ‘Meat Matters: Cultural Politics Along the Commodity Chain in India’, Cultural Geographies, 1999, 6, 4, 399–423.

58. Amartya Sen, ‘Hunger: Old Torments and New Blunders’, The Little Magazine, 2, 6.

Part 12. Urban and Natural Environment

59. Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘Open Space/Public Space: Garbage, Modernity and India’, South Asia, 1991, 14, 1, 15–31.

60. Susan E. Chaplin, ‘Cities, Sewers and Poverty: India’s Politics of Sanitation’, Environment and Urbanization, 1999, 11, 1, 145–58.

61. Amita Baviskar, ‘Cultural Politics of Environment and Development: The Indian Experience’, Review of Development and Change, 2006, 9, 1, 1–14.

62. Glyn Williams and Emma Mawdsley, ‘Postcolonial Environmental Justice: Government and Governance in India’, Geoforum, 2006, 37, 5, 660–70.

Part 13. Literature

63. Beth, Sarah, ‘Hindi Dalit Biography: An Exploration of Identity’, Modern Asian Studies, 2007, 41, 3, 545–74.

64. Pramod K. Nayar, ‘Bama’s Karukku: Dalit Autobiography as Testimonio’, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 2006, 41, 2, 83–100.

65. Salman Rushdie, ‘Damme, This is the Oriental Scene for You’, The New Yorker, 23 June 1997, 50–61.

66. Rashmi Sadana, ‘A Suitable Text for a Vegetarian Audience: Questions of Authenticity and the Politics of Translation’, Public Culture, 2007, 19, 2, 307–28.

Part 14. Cinema

67. Sara Dickey, ‘The Politics of Adulation: Cinema and the Production of Politicians in South India’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 1993, 52, 2, 340–72.

68. Ashish Rajadhyaksha, ‘The "Bollywoodization" of the Indian Cinema: Cultural Nationalism in a Global Arena’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 2003, 4, 1, 25–39.

69. Harish Trivedi, ‘From Bollywood to Hollywood: The Globalization of Hindi Cinema’, in Revathi Krishnaswamy and John C. Hawley (eds.), The Postcolonial and the Global (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), pp. 200–10.

Part 15. Television

70. Nalin Mehta, ‘Modi and the Camera: The Politics of Television in the 2002 Gujarat Riots’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2006, 29, 3, 395–414.

71. Purnima Mankekar, ‘Dangerous Desires: Television and Erotics in Late Twentieth-Century India’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 2004, 63, 2, 403–31.

72. Arvind Rajagopal, ‘Advertising, Politics, and the Sentimental Education of the Indian Consumer’, Visual Anthropology Review, 1998, 14, 2, 14–31.

Part 16. Music, Folklore, and Beauty Pageants

73. Peter Manuel, ‘Music, the Media, and Communal Relations in North India, Past and Present’, in David Ludden (ed.), Making India Hindu: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 119–39.

74. Kirin Narayan, ‘Banana Republics and V. I. Degrees: Rethinking Indian Folklore in a Postcolonial World’, Asian Folklore Studies, 1993, 52, 1, 177–204.

75. Rupal Oza, ‘Showcasing India: Gender, Geography, and Globalization’, Signs, 2001, 26, 4, 1067–97.

Part 17. Cricket and Sports

76. Boria Majumdar, ‘Cricket in India: Representative Playing Field to Restrictive Preserve’, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 2006, 23, 6, 927–59.

77. Ian McDonald, ‘Hindu Nationalism, Cultural Spaces, and Bodily Practices in India’, American Behavioral Scientist, 2003, 46, 11, 1563–76.

Name: Modern Indian Culture and Society (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: Edited by Knut A. Jacobsen. Research on Indian culture and society has been conducted from a dizzying range of perspectives. However, in recent decades it has been particularly characterized by a change in focus from the past to the present; from the worldview of the...
Categories: Sociology & Social Policy, South Asian Studies, India (studies of), Asian Studies