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The Context of Ethnicity: Sikh Identity in a Comparative Perspective

Dipankar Gupta (Author)
Synopsis The Context of Ethnicity questions the widely held conceptualization of nation-states and ascriptive identities, through a study of Sikh extremism in the Punjab. The book argues that contrary to popular opinion, regional sympathies can co-exist with nationalist loyalty. In this book the author maintains that viewing ethnic conflict in terms of cultural exclusiveness and intolerance prevents us from comprehending how friends and enemies switch sides radically even within a relatively short span of time. The book argues that ethnic identities are not fixed and permanent, but are dynamic and have to be properly located within specific sociological co-ordinates. To this end, Dipankar Gupta uses ethnographic material relating primarily to the Punjab problem, with comparative references to the Shiv Sena movement, on which he has done considerable work. The author argues for a triadic framework where the interaction between warring dyads is contextualized by the thematics of the nation-state. He thus attempts to separate ethnicity from the related phenomena of communalism and fundamentalism.
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About the author

Dipankar Gupta

Dipankar Gupta is Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The author of Rivalry and Brotherhood: Politics in the Life of Farmers in Northern India (OUP, 1997), The Context of Ethnicity: Sikh Identity in a Comparative Perspective (OUP, 1996), he has also edited Social Stratification (OUP, 1991) and more recently Anti-Utopia: Essential Writings of Andre Beteille (OUP, 2005). He is also co-editor of Contributions to Indian Sociology.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Context of Ethnicity: Sikh Identity in a Comparative Perspective
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1996
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195636945
length xiii+241p., Tables; Glossary; Appendices; References; Notes; 23cm.