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Introduction

  • Gareth DaveyEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research book series (BRIEFSWELLBEING)

Abstract

This chapter introduces Badagas, an ethnic minority in India, and their general portrayal by scholars. Drawing on literature since the colonial era, it reviews different representations, collectively a social construction of a distinct cultural and ethnic identity category for a specific population and way of life—a popular imagination of a hill tribe in a remote region bound by strong ties to ancient myths and rituals, kinship, and land. Colonists, missionaries, and early intellectuals gave the false appearance of coherence to people in othering and social boundary-making processes, a mindset grounded in European colonial expansion and early anthropology. Later writers uncritically adopted and reinscribed a reified identity through detailed investigations of its defining criteria, and in this way misleading stereotypes have been stamped in the literature over many years. Another aim of the chapter is to pinpoint what is already known about Badagas, as well as gaps in knowledge, to make a case for the empirical research reported in this book which is a multi-sited ethnography of life quality and identities among Badagas in two connected locations, the first online among Internet forum users, and the second in the real world with rural-to-urban migrants in Bangalore.

Keywords

Badagas Identity Nilgiri Hills Quality of life 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Anthropology and ConservationThe University of KentCanterburyUK

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