Indian anthropology and the construction of 'tribal ethnicity' before independence

Rycroft, Daniel (2012) Indian anthropology and the construction of 'tribal ethnicity' before independence. In: Nationhood and Identity Movements in Asia: Colonial and Postcolonial Times. Manohar Publishers, New Delhi, pp. 141-165.

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During the pre-independence decades of the twentieth century, the concept of ‘race’ was nationalized in India. In view of the connectedness between anthropological knowledge and cultural policy, the question emerges of how exponents of Indian anthropology re-formulated ‘race’ within a nationally relevant racial studies framework. My paper aims to trace how the relational concepts of ‘tribe’ and ethnic diversity were reconfigured within a new sociological, rather than colonialist, discourse of race, thereby setting out the terms for a national science. By questioning how and why researchers dispensed with the idea of the ‘aboriginal’ before 1947, the counter-ideological background of both Indian anthropology, and the closely related field of Tribal studies, will become clear. The paper focuses on the work of Brajendra Nath Seal, Sarat Chandra Roy and Dhirendra Nath Majumdar who were the main exponents of this emerging discipline.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Art History and World Art Studies
Depositing User: Daniel Rycroft
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2011 09:19
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 08:59

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