Cohn examines the Thakur, Chamar, Brahman, Telis, and Muslims to demonstrate the variations in how groups understood their traditional and historic pasts. Cohn mentions the two anthropological lenses of culture—Victorian evolution unity of mankind and Boasian culture theory diversification.
Cohn connects colonialism to practices of information gathering and the standardization and simplifications of social, cultural, and religious codes. Cohn highlights the challenge of representing caste in particular and argues that later understandings of caste were built upon census operations of interpretation and categorization.
Social and Structural Change From the three chapters Cohn demonstrates how an anthropological history can reveal conclusions about historical change in colonial contexts and around understandings of tradition versus modernity.
For example, Cohn explains how the Telis low caste of shopkeepers and traders drew a traditional past around their lost of status due to a militant defense of Hinduism in face of Muslims. An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays.
Accessed November 5, This observation only emerges after his rigorous historical work of tracing social change and construction of a past narrative through time. Within this period he undermines the generalization that British systems of land control wholly destroyed the land holding structures of pre-modern India.
Instead, by an anthropological history of social change, we can understand the bottom up, process of construction and systems of power over time. Social Structure and Colonial Context Cohn applies anthropological history to his study of social structures within a colonial context.
He demonstrates the nuances of how ex-zamindars often stayed on their previous property after the purchase of the land by another. In Cohn was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest and prestigious honorary societies in America.
Cohn and Indian History in the American Academy: In this way, both anthropology and history can benefit from a more integrated study that examines how people construct cultural categories rather than of simply places and times.
While anthropology is situated in space, history examines time.
Oxford Univeristy Press, Bibliography Cohn, Bernard S. His volume Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge —a collection of four essays produced during the s—centers around the project of colonial knowledge making. Cohn was also the first American historian to write for the Subaltern Studies volumes.
Cohn traces the relationship of Rajput clans, changes in land rights, and the roles of the zamindar landholders over a three hundred year time span. Using the caricature of Philias Fillagap and Lucy Lacuna, Cohn demonstrates how anthropology seeks to uncover deep symbolic and functional structures.
He explains that British laws and attempts to codify caste intensified the hierarchical structures of caste.An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays Paperback – January, by Bernard S. Cohn (Author). Contents Introduction by Ranajit Guha vii I.
HISTORY AND ANTHROPOLOGY 1. An Anthropologist among the Historians: A Field Study 1 2. History and Anthropology: The State of Play 18 3. Anthropology and History in the s: Towards a Rapprochement 50 II. INDIA AS A FIELD OF STUDY 4. Networks and Centres in the Integration of Indian Civilization 78 5.
A scholar of history as well as anthropology, Cohn offers readers a unique perspective on the social structure, colonization, and transformation of Indian society. This study will be of special value for courses in anthropology, sociology and history.
Bernard S. Cohn. An anthropologist among the historians and other essays. New York: Oxford University Press, xxvi + pp.
$ (cloth) (Reviewed by Paul A. Erickson). Cohn Bernard An Anthropologist Among the Historians and Other Essays New from LEGAL at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
2. History and Anthropology: The State of Play 3. Anthropology and Historsy in: the Towards a Rapprochement II. INDIA AS A FIELD OF STUDY 4. Networks and Centres in the Integration of .Download