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Indian Sex Life – Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought

Durba Mitra


During the colonial period in India, European scholars, British officials, and elite Indian intellectuals—philologists, administrators, doctors, ethnologists, sociologists, and social critics—deployed ideas about sexuality to understand modern Indian society. This book shows how deviant female sexuality, particularly the concept of the prostitute, became foundational to this knowledge project and became the primary way to think and write about Indian society. The book reveals that deviant female sexuality was critical to debates about social progress and exclusion, caste domination, marriage, ... More

Keywords: sexuality, modern Indian society, deviant female sexuality, prostitute, social progress, caste domination, marriage, widowhood, abortion, Hindu monogamy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780691196350
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196350.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Durba Mitra, author
Harvard University

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