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TRIBAL STUDIES AND BEYOND: Contributions of D.N. Majumdar to Indian Anthropology

H.S Saksena

TRIBAL STUDIES AND BEYOND: Contributions of D.N. Majumdar to Indian Anthropology

H.S Saksena


ISBN 9788131609095
Publication Year 2018
Pages 312 pages
Binding Hardback
Sale Territory World (Except USA and Canada)

About the Book

Dhirendra Nath Majumdar was one of the pioneers of anthropological research in India. He joined the Department of Economics & Sociology, University of Lucknow in 1928. In the course of his 32 years of academic work he created in Lucknow an exceptional centre for anthropological studies through the institutions and journals he founded. Trying to relate the basic concepts of anthropology to the general public, he popularized the concept of ‘public anthropology’ and was also instrumental in promoting anthropology in Hindi. 
H.S. Saksena, one of his prominent students, has in this ‘expositional’ book on Majumdar’s life and works explicated his contributions to tribal ethnography, covering communities from a wide range of habitat, cultural and economic life, and social organization. The book also considers Majumdar’s post-1947 studies of changing caste structure and dynamics seen in the Indian villages, rural development programmes and problems, urban settlements, composition of the working class, and emerging problems such as unemployment among the educated. In his earlier works on tribal communities, Majumdar had improved upon available methods of ethnographic study and analysis. Majumdar’s anthropometric and serological surveys of select communities and groups in Bengal, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh as well as his contributions to other fields of anthropology have also been discussed.
Professor T.N. Madan in his foreword describes this study, ‘as first full length study of the work on an Indian anthropologist’. He adds that ‘to write about a “general” anthropologist such as D.N. Majumdar, in our times of specialization is, needless to emphasize, a daunting task.’


— D.N. Majumdar: His Life and Work
— Majumdar’s Tribal Ethnography
— Anthropological Perspective on Primitive Religion
— Culture Contact and Culture Change
— Tribal Rehabilitation
— Village Studies: Himalayan Polyandry – Tribe-Caste, Village-Region
— Village Studies: Gohana Kalan Near Lucknow
— Village Studies: Tribe-Caste Village
— Urban Studies: Cultural Role of Cities
— Applied Anthropology
— Contributions to Other Branches of Anthropology
— Majumdar’s Academic Journey in the Perspective of Sociology of Knowledge
— Summing Up and a Word
— Bibliography of Professor D.N. Majumdar

About the Author / Editor

H.S. Saksena was Former Director, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Government of India. Starting his career as a Research Associate with the Cornell-Lucknow University Project for village studies, he was later a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, University of Lucknow. He also did a course in Social Planning at New York in the Social Development Division of the UNO. He was a member of several expert groups set up by the National Planning Commission for mid-term appraisals and drawing up of five year plans for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes; and he was also on their Committee on India Vision 2020 set up in 2000.
He was Editor of The Eastern Anthropologist, an international journal of 71 years standing founded by D.N. Majumdar, from 1997 to 2016. His publications include three books, three edited volumes in collaboration with others and a number of papers in reputed journals and edited volumes. He was a regular faculty for professional courses in several institutions and universities. He was Senior Fellow, ICSSR, during 2012–14.

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