ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Indian Anthropology and Sociology

There is need of a rigorous and comprehensive history of Indian sociology-anthropology, constituted as a full-fledged research area, to study the material, ideological and institutional context in which these disciplines developed. A report on a national workshop on the issue.

The disciplines of Indian anthropology and sociology are at a stage today when the path to the future requires a look backward at the past. Such self-conscious stocktaking is not new to Indian sociology: in fact, Indian sociologists have been unusually sensitive to the contextual specificities of their discipline and its history. However, much of the existing material on disciplinary history has been in the form of personal reminiscences and surveys by individual scholars. While this is certainly valuable raw material, it needs re-evaluation and supplementary research. In private conversations, several scholars have expressed the need of a more rigorous and comprehensive history of Indian anthropology-sociology, constituted as a full-fledged research area, with greater attention paid to the material, ideological and institutional contexts in which these disciplines developed.

In order to facilitate the initiation of such a sub-field, the Sociology Unit of the Institute of Economic Growth1 held a national workshop from April 19-21 involving two types of scholars: senior scholars who could bring their invaluable personal experience and knowledge to the discussions, especially on institutional issues, and younger scholars who had not been personally involved in the history they were researching but had indicated interest in the subject. Initial financial and time constraints limited the scope and coverage of the seminar in terms of regions or schools studied, though we were fortunate, eventually, in getting support first from the ICSSR and then from the department of education of the ministry of human resource development.

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