Hardback
November 15, 2020
9780295747873
English
248
11 b&w illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
$99.00 USD, £79.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
November 15, 2020
9780295747880
English
248
11 b&w illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.8 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD, £23.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Sacred Cows and Chicken Manchurian

The Everyday Politics of Eating Meat in India

By James Staples
Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan, Series edited by K. Sivaramakrishnan
Bovine politics exposes fault lines within contemporary Indian society, where eating beef is simultaneously a violation of sacred taboos, an expression of marginalized identities, and a route to cosmopolitan sophistication. The recent rise of Hindu nationalism has further polarized traditional views: Dalits, Muslims, and Christians protest threats to their beef-eating heritage while Hindu fundamentalists rally against those who eat the sacred cow. Yet close observation of what people do and do not eat, the styles and contexts within which they do so, and the disparities between rhetoric and everyday action overturns this simplistic binary opposition.

Understanding how a food can be implicated in riots, vigilante attacks, and even murders demands that we look beyond immediate politics to wider contexts. Drawing on decades of ethnographic research in South India, James Staples charts how cattle owners, brokers, butchers, cooks, and occasional beef eaters navigate the contemporary political and cultural climate. Sacred Cows and Chicken Manchurian offers a fine-grained exploration of the current situation, locating it within the wider anthropology of food and eating in the region and revealing critical aspects of what it is to be Indian in the early twenty-first century.

About the Authors

James Staples is reader in social anthropology at Brunel University London and author of Leprosy and a Life in South India: Journeys with a Tamil Brahmin and Peculiar People, Amazing Lives: Leprosy, Social Exclusion and Community Making in South India.

Reviews

"James Staples charts how cattle owners, brokers, butchers, cooks, and occasional beef eaters navigate the contemporary political and cultural climate. Sacred Cows and Chicken Manchurian offers a fine-grained exploration of the current situation, locating it within the wider anthropology offood and eating in the region and revealing critical aspects of what it is to be Indian inthe early twenty-first century."—New Books in Anthropology

Endorsements

"This rich and textured ethnography engages a range of social actors who are usually absent from writing on cow protection and beef politics in India. A remarkable intervention in the growing literature on bovine politics, religion, and caste in contemporary India."—Radhika Govindrajan, University of Washington

"The very subject matter is hugely controversial in India but the author successfully argues against further polarization in our thinking, presenting his research clearly and thoughtfully. Beautifully written."—Krishnendu Ray, New York University

 

9780295747873 : sacred-cows-and-chicken-manchurian-staples-sivaramakrishnan-sivaramakrishnan
Hardback
248 Pages
$99.00 USD
9780295747880 : sacred-cows-and-chicken-manchurian-staples-sivaramakrishnan-sivaramakrishnan
Paperback / softback
248 Pages
$30.00 USD

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