Anthropologists of India: Adrian C. Mayer, M.N. Srinivas, André Béteille and Jonathan Parry is the first time a collection of interviews is being published as a book. These interviews have been conducted by one of England’s leading social anthropologists and historians, Professor Alan Macfarlane.
Filmed over a period of 40 years, the four conversations in this volume are part of the series Creative Lives and Works. These transcriptions also form a part a larger set of interviews that cut across various disciplines, from the social sciences, the sciences and to the performing and visual arts. The current volume is on four of the world’s foremost social anthropologists and sociologists who have been closely associated with the British anthropological tradition.
These conversations focus primarily on fieldwork experience in India and how new dimensions and interpretations were added to the discipline of sociology and social anthropology as more and more primitive cultures and ancient civilizations were studied.
This book brings out the diversity of the Indian subcontinent and its people through its engaging conversations and occasional anecdotes. Immensely riveting as conversations, this collection gives one a flavour of the many different cultures that coexist in a vast country like India, often with no knowledge of each other’s existence while de-jargonizing complex sociological concepts.
The book will be of enormous value not just to those interested in the subject of Sociology, Social Anthropology and Ethnography, but also those with an avid interest in History, Culture Studies as well as those with an interest in learning about other societies.
Alan Macfarlane was born in Shillong, India, in 1941 and educated at the Dragon School, Sedbergh School, Oxford and London Universities where he received two Master's degrees and two doctorates. He is the author of over forty books, including The Origins of English Individualism (1978) and Letters to Lily: On How the World Works (2005). He has worked in England, Nepal, Japan and China as both an historian and anthropologist. He was elected to the British Academy in 1986 and is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and a Life Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Professor Macfarlane received the Huxley Memorial Medal, the highest honour of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2012.
Sir Jack Goody was one of the great social anthropologists and comparative sociologists of the twentieth century. It is not easy to summarize his contribution in more than 25 published books and many articles, as well as the effect he had on academic life as an innovative administrator. Jack Goody’s father was a technical journalist and he grew up in Welwyn Garden City and then went to St Alban’s School. He went up to St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1938 to read English and was influenced by socialism and the literary criticism associated with F.R. Leavis. He was William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge between 1973 and 1883.
Anthropologists of India – Alan Macfarlane
Adrian Mayer – In conversation with Alan Macfarlane
M.N. Srinivas – In conversation with Jack Goody
André Béteille – In conversation with Alan Macfarlane
Jonathan Parry – In conversation with Alan Macfarlane
Appendix: Biographical information
– Compiled by Radha Béteille