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

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Tribes in Transition

Indian Tribes in Transition: The Need for Reorientation by Yogesh Atal; Oxon, UK and New York; Routledge, 2016, pp vi + 192, 895.

The first page of Yogesh Atal’s recent collection of essays and talks, Indian Tribes in Transition: The Need for Reorientation, declares that “social science research in [India] began with the study of the tribes,” and it is this historical perspective that unifies and drives this welcome addition to the study of Adivasi communities. Consisting of several keynote addresses for national-level conferences and seminars given by Atal in recent years, the strength of this ­volume is certainly in its broad view of the study of anthropology in India since independence.

This is best articulated in the book’s first chapter, “Anthropology Today and Tomo­rrow: A Tribute to Professor S C Dube.” For younger scholars and those trained outside South Asia, this essay sheds fascinating light on the deep interdisciplinarity of many of India’s anthropological luminaries, for instance, D N Majumdar, who lectured in economics, and Nirmal Kumar Bose, who began his academic trajectory as a geographer. Dube himself began in political science, but also taught under the auspices of anthropology and sociology departments at various mom­ents in his career. This was a generative mix, in Atal’s account, and did not permit the founding of orthodox “schools.” This was an environment that fostered innovative research methods.

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Updated On : 16th Aug, 2017

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