Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India

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Knut A. Jacobsen
Routledge, Aug 11, 2015 - Reference - 506 pages
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India is the second largest country in the world with regard to population, the world’s largest democracy and by far the largest country in South Asia, and one of the most diverse and pluralistic nations in the world in terms of official languages, cultures, religions and social identities. Indians have for centuries exchanged ideas with other cultures globally and some traditions have been transformed in those transnational and transcultural encounters and become successful innovations with an extraordinary global popularity. India is an emerging global power in terms of economy, but in spite of India’s impressive economic growth over the last decades, some of the most serious problems of Indian society such as poverty, repression of women, inequality both in terms of living conditions and of opportunities such as access to education, employment, and the economic resources of the state persist and do not seem to go away.

This Handbook contains chapters by the field’s foremost scholars dealing with fundamental issues in India’s current cultural and social transformation and concentrates on India as it emerged after the economic reforms and the new economic policy of the 1980s and 1990s and as it develops in the twenty-first century.

Following an introduction by the editor, the book is divided into five parts:

Part I: Foundation

Part II: India and the world

Part III: Society, class, caste and gender

Part IV: Religion and diversity

Part V: Cultural change and innovations

Exploring the cultural changes and innovations relating a number of contexts in contemporary India, this Handbook is essential reading for students and scholars interested in Indian and South Asian culture, politics and society.


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foundation relations diversity and innovations
partitioning India
the dynamics of social change and transition
Indias Constitution and its Supreme Court
Economic foundation of India
the precarious balancing act in Indias schools
Agriculture and the development burden
history patronage and the moral
Gujarat and the contradictory coexistence of economic
rethinking family and marriage in contemporary India
engagements with the state nonstate actors
the instructive case of India
material religion in contemporary Hinduism
infrastructure economy identity and conflicts
Ambedkars life and his Navayana Buddhism

Politics security and foreign policy
Is India a South Asian or an Asian power?
Indias role as an international development actor
transnational history and blurred discursive contexts
Modernised Ayurveda in India and the West
The politics of economic reforms in India
the Indian city after economic liberalisation
Indias middle classes in contemporary India
why does it still matter?
the making of Ravidassia Dharm Dalit
socioreligious diversity and the questions
Religious violence crime statistics and Indias Muslim minority
Combative constructions of femininity in the late twentiethcentury narratives
muscles masculinity and middle classness
discourses and practices from
the use of siddha medical knowledge

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About the author (2015)

Knut A. Jacobsen is Professor in the History of Religions at the University of Bergen, Norway.

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