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Demographic Perspectives on India's Tribes

Arup Maharatna (Author)
Synopsis This book discusses India's aggregate tribal people from the standpoint of their distinct demographic patterns and behaviour. It suggests that these are often influenced and shaped by broadly common sociocultural features unique to these communities. The volume argues that the conceptual category of aggregate tribal population is valid not only in statistical and quantitative terms but is also a meaningful and functionally useful category. It proceeds to analyse and evaluate demographic features of aggregate tribes comparing them with their closest but marginalized non-tribal counterparts--the aggregate Scheduled Castes in India. In its analysis of tribal population, the volume revisits key anthropological and historical concerns surrounding the notion of tribes in India. It discusses the nature, quality, and usefulness of census approaches and information relating to the tribal population. Further, the book presents an overview of long term demographic trends such as growth, regional distribution, and sex composition of the aggregate tribal population in a comparative perspective. Drawing on the analysis of long-term trends of tribal demography in Jharkhand as also among the Santhals in West Bengal, the book traces patterns of demographic behaviour, including migration among India's tribes. The key challenge as demonstrated by the volume is not one of how tribes can be brought within the folds of mainstream society and culture, but one of more voluntary mutual interaction and effective reciprocity between tribes and society. Interdisciplinary in approach, rich in empirical data, and comparative in scope, this book will have a wide audience including anthropologists, sociologists, demographers, development studies specialists, and scholars in community health, in addition to activists working in organizations dealing with tribal issues.
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About the author

Arup Maharatna

Arup Maharatna is Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Burdwan, West Bengal

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Bibliographic information

Title Demographic Perspectives on India's Tribes
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195670868
length xx+306p., Tables; 23cm.