chapter
Asia: South
Pages 5

South Asia includes the modern republics of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lankaall formerly under British colonial rule-and the kingdom of Nepal. Although the foundations of modern South Asian anthropology lie in the systematic ethnographic reportage begun during the colonial period, the work of post-independence fieldworkers has had the greatest impact in mainstream anthropology, not least through the reaction to †Louis Dumont’s celebrated attempt at theoretical and empirical synthesis, Homo Hierarchicus (1980). The first wave of post-independence work was village-based and concentrated on questions of *caste and *kinship. More recent work has focused on *religion, particularly *Hinduism and *Buddhism, *gender, history and the politics of collective (or †‘communal’) *identities.