Exploring Sociabilities of Contemporary India: New Perspectives
Sujata Patel (Ed.)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
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Orient BlackSwan

In a path-breaking volume, contemporary India's most prominent sociologists reflect on and reframe the three 'classic' fields that have defined sociology in India since independence: family–marriage–kinship; caste and tribal inequalities; and belief, religion and religiosities. The authors, all of whom are experts in each of these areas, are seized by the need to intervene in the present moment that is being defined by global processes and elaborate the challenges facing the reframing of sociological scholarship in these arenas.

The essays in the volume assert a need to desist from finding singular theories of change and transformation. They recognise that these three fields are suffused with power, its ideologies, its representations and its practices. They thus argue for a need to empirically study their current manifestations in daily practices and in everyday social lives in India. The essays contend that the intersection of received diversities and the current unevenness in the processes of transformation in India are highly complex and multifarious and assert that these need to be examined at various scales from global to regional, national and local.

Exploring Sociabilities of Contemporary India also demands that the readers reflect on the ways hierarchies and practices of rule are imbricated in professional knowledge. Thus the authors argue for a methodological focus that combines a discursive deconstruction, a historical sensitivity and an empirical focus on practices.

Offering a new repertoire of issues, theories and perspectives, this volume will be invaluable to students and scholars of sociology and social anthropology.

Sujata Patel is National Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Her research interests are in the areas of social theory, history of sociology/social sciences, urbanisation and city-formation, social movements, gender construction, and caste and class formation in India.

Preface and Acknowledgements

Introduction: Indian Sociology's Past-Present and Present-Futures
Sujata Patel

1. Sociological Scholarship on India: The Epistemes of Colonial Modernity and Methodological Nationalism
Sujata Patel

Section One: Debating the Sociology of ‘Traditional’ India
2. Confronting Disciplinary Practices: Rethinking the Sociology of Family, Marriage and Kinship
Rajni Palriwala

3. Tribes in India: Why Exclusion Persists
Virginius Xaxa

4. How Not to Study Caste: Moving Beyond the Avatars of the Orientalist Commonsense
Surinder S. Jodhka

5. Beyond State and Nation: Anthropology of Muslims in South Asia
Farhana Ibrahim

Section Two: Family, Marriage, Caste and Religiosities in Contemporary India
6. The Rebellious Woman and the Violence of Consensus: Contemporary Contestations of the Domestic Space
Kamala Ganesh

7. Deterritorialising Heteronormative Family and Kinship: Hybrid Existence and Queer Intimacies in Contemporary India
Pushpesh Kumar

8. Modernity without Alterity: Deshastha Brahmins and Hindu Cosmopolitanism in Mumbai
Suryakant Waghmore

9. Between Text and Practice: Reflections on the Sociological Study of Islam
Sudha Sitharaman

10. Catholic Citizens: Faith as Activism in Mumbai
Rowena Robinson and Nandini Paliyath

Section Three: On Education and Learning in India
11. Ritualising Higher Education Reforms in India
N. Jayaram

12. The Non-academic Uses of the Public University: An Optimistic Note
Satish Deshpande

Notes on Contributors

1. Book Review | Published in the journal Social Change, 8 September 2023.
2. Book Review | Published in the journal of Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1 June 2021.
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