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Distributed for Seagull Books

Indian Cultures as Heritage

Contemporary Pasts

One of India’s preeminent historians examines the role of history in contemporary society.

Every society has its cultures: patterns of how people live and express themselves and how they value objects and thoughts. Recently, there has been considerable debate about what constitutes Indian culture and heritage and about how much diversity those categories ought to contain. Romila Thapar begins by explaining how definitions of culture have changed over the past three centuries. She suggests that cultures can be defined as a shared understanding of selected objects and thoughts from the past, but this understanding is often stripped of its historical context. Thapar touches on a few of these illuminating contexts, such as social discrimination, the role of women, and attitudes toward science and knowledge. This thought-provoking book is sure to spark productive debate about some current shibboleths in India’s culture.

268 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4

The India List

History: Asian History


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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Defining Cultures
1. Cultures as Heritage
2. Heritage: The Contemporary Past
3. Time Before Time
4. Science as Culture
5. Women Decoding Cultures
6. The Culture of Discrimination
7. Knowledge as Heritage
Epilogue
Acknowledgements
References and Further Reading
Index

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