The Good Parsi
The Fate of a Colonial Elite in a Postcolonial Society
By (author) T. M. Luhrmann
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Good Parsi by T. M. Luhrmann
Book DescriptionDuring the Raj, one group stands out as having prospered and thrived thousand years ago, the Zoroastrian people adopted the manners, dress and aspirations of their British colonizers, and their Anglophilic activities ranged from cricket to Oxford to tea. The British were fulsome in their praise of the Parsis and rewarded them with high-level financial, mercantile and bureaucratic posts. The Parsis dominated Bombay for more than a century. But Indian independence ushered in their decline. Tanya Luhrmann vivdly portrays a crisis of confidence, of self-criticism and perpetual agonizing. The story of the Parsis is a story of long-delayed recognition and the emptiness of the promise that the Parsis might one day be Englishmen. Luhrmann examines the paradoxical nature of the self-criticism of this culture (the Parsis had identified themselves with the "strong", "virile" colonizers but now speak of themselves as effeminate and emasculated, "weak", and all the other epithets formerly used by the British of Indians) to create an image of a fragile and beleaguered identity, fraught with contradictions, that looks uneasily toward the future. This story highlights all the dilemmas and paradoxes. Luhrmann's analysis brings insights into a whole range of communal and individual identity crises and what could be called "identity politics" of this century. In a last chapter the author confronts another elite in crisis: an anthropology in flux, uncertain of its own authority and is relation to the colonizers.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674356764
(235mm x 155mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 9-Jul-1996
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author T. M. Luhrmann
Our Most Troubling Madness, Paperback (November 2016)
Schizophrenia has long puzzled researchers in the fields of psychiatric medicine and anthropology. Why is it that the rates of developing schizophrenia are low in some countries and higher in others? The authors argue that the root causes of schizophrenia are not only biological, but also sociocultural.
Healing Psychiatry, Paperback (September 2009)» View all books by T. M. Luhrmann
A new patient-centered approach to psychiatry that aims to resolve the field's conceptual tension between science and humanism by drawing on classical American pragmatism and contemporary pragmatic bioethics.
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Author Biography - T. M. Luhrmann
Tanya M. Luhrmann is Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego.
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