Rural change and anthropological knowledge in post-colonial India: a comparative 'restudy' of F.G. Bailey, Adrian C. Mayer and David Pocock, 1950-2012

Simpson, Edward and Tina, Otten and Alice, Tilche and Tommaso, Sbriccoli and Patricia , Jeffery (2018). Rural change and anthropological knowledge in post-colonial India: a comparative 'restudy' of F.G. Bailey, Adrian C. Mayer and David Pocock, 1950-2012. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852771

This project examines social and economic change in post-colonial Indian villages. The Indian village was romanticised by the colonial administration (‘the village republic’), was the cornerstone of Gandhi’s philosophy on the future of a successful India, and became key to post-colonial development planning. After the Second World War, Indian villages were intensively studied by Indian, American and British anthropologists and village studies became central to the emergence of the sociological understanding of India. Through intensive new ethnographic fieldwork, the project aimed to ‘restudy’ three villages originally studied independently in the early 1950s by F.G. Bailey, Adrian C. Mayer and David F. Pocock (deceased) in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat respectively. Bailey and Mayer - both now in their 90s - contributed their field materials, memories and experience to the research. The project aimed to reveal some of the new sociological realities of rural India. The project asked: Who lives in villages? How do villagers relate to one another? What do they do? How does the present situation compare with the past? What has happened to the ‘caste system’, segregated gender roles, and popular religion? How do the trajectories of the three villages compare? In sum, what roles do villages play in the life of contemporary India?

Data description (abstract)

This dataset results from an anthropological project that ‘restudied’ three villages in India that had originally been studied by anthropologists in the 1950s. The villages are Sundarana in Gujarat, Jamgod in Madhya Pradesh and Bisipada in Orissa. Sundarana was studied by David F. Pocock in 1953-1956; Jamgod by Adrian Mayer in 1954-1956 and Bisipada by F.G. Bailey in 1952-1959. The dataset consists of: (1) maps and census data generated by the fieldwork in 2012; (2) digitised fieldnotes (some 4,500 pages) of anthropologist F.G. Bailey's fieldwork in Orissa in the 1950s, for which the high definition images are hosted by the SOAS Digital Collection; (3) interviews with Bailey and Mayer about their research (video and audio); (4) photographic collection of Orissa in the 1950s; (5) images of Bisipada village, Odisha of 1950 and 2012; (6) ethnographic data collected during the 2012 resurvey of Jamgod, Madhya Preadesh; (7) ethnographic data collected during the 2012 resurvey of Sundarana, Gujarat. Concerned with understanding social change through anthropological methodology, the researchers used an open and reflexive methodology and some of the material consequently describes the working and decision-making processes of the research team.

Creators:
Creator NameEmailAffiliationORCID (as URL)
Simpson, Edwardes7@soas.ac.ukSOAS University of Londonhttp://orcid.org/0000-0002-5359-8259
Tina, Ottenottentina@gmail.com Ruhr Universität BochumUnspecified
Alice, Tilchealicetilche@gmail.com London School of EconomicsUnspecified
Tommaso, Sbriccolitommasosbriccoli@gmail.comUniversity of SienaUnspecified
Patricia , Jefferypjeffery@staffmail.ed.ac.uk University of EdinburghUnspecified
Research funders: Economic and Social Reseach Council
Grant reference: ES/I02123X/1
Subjects: Society and culture
Keywords: india, anthropology, restudies, village life, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha
Project title: Rural change and anthropological knowledge in post-colonial India: A comparative 'restudy' of F.G. Bailey, Adrian C. Mayer and David F. Pocock
Grant holders: Edward Simpson, Patricia Jeffery
Project dates:
FromTo
1 September 201131 December 2015
Date published: 09 Jul 2018 07:04
Last modified: 09 Jul 2018 07:04

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