Commonsense at Centrestage
Saraswathi Raju
CONTEMPORARY INDIA: A SOCIOLOGICAL VIEW by Satish Deshpande Penguin/Viking, New Delhi, 2004, 213 pp., 350.00
February 2004, volume 28, No 2

In this era of cross-cutting issues and research, claiming a particular expertise as one’s own may sound incongruous, but I cannot resist the temptation of confessing what I had always felt while reading Satish Deshpande and that is: reminding geographers that someone else is doing what they ought to have done. I not only enjoyed the most, but also used his earlier work on embedded spatiality even as globalization processes seem to be challenging the concept of spatiality because of ever-increasing transnational and diasporic narratives extensively in my teaching and research. Therefore, despite being a little apprehensive because of my academic background in geography, I took up the assignment of reviewing the book. I must say the initial sense of unease reduced further when I read what the author has to say about the ‘intended audience’ as ‘a non-specialist one, including the general reader ‘academics from neighbouring disciples, and students across the social sciences and humanities’ (page 18). This is a point I would come back to later.

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