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Doctoring TraditionsAyurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Sciences$
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Projit Bihari Mukharji

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226381794

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226381824.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 February 2020

A Baidya-Bourgeois World: The Sociology of Braided Sciences

A Baidya-Bourgeois World: The Sociology of Braided Sciences

(p.35) One A Baidya-Bourgeois World: The Sociology of Braided Sciences
Doctoring Traditions

Projit Bihari Mukharji

University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides a socio-historical profile of the main actors of the book. The chapter also argues that these reformers, all men, embodied bivalent identities. On the one hand they belonged to an elite caste with strong links to Sanskrit learning and the social status that came with it, on the other hand they were members of a Victorian middle class. In this latter regard, I draw upon the recent work that sees ‘middle class-ness’ as something constituted through shared patterns of consumption rather than how they actually earned. I relate this consumption-orientation as the main reason that the physicians embraced so many small technological objects. At the same time, I constantly point out the importance of other, non-class elements in shaping their actions. Sectarian rivalries between Shaiva Tantrics and Vaishnavs and later political groupings around rival visions of nationalism both shape the actions of the reformists.

Keywords:   middle class, caste, Indian National Congress, consumption, Calcutta, Subhas Chandra Bose

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