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The Inner and Outer SelvesCosmology, Gender, and Ecology in the Himalayas$
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Subhadra Mitra Channa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198079422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198079422.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Inner and Outer Selves
Author(s):

Subhadra Mitra Channa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198079422.003.0001

This chapter discusses the various theoretical approaches to the concept of identity and makes clear what is meant by the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ notions of self and how it is constructed in relation to ‘Others’, especially in the context of geo-political power hierarchies and spatial location. It shows how the notions of tribe and ethnic group have been understood in existing literature and how they need to be reconceptualized. There is a critique of the static and divisive definitions in favour of a more phenomenological, diffuse, and dynamic understanding of the social reality with specific reference to the particular community under study. It also compares the ethnography of similar communities studied on the Himalayan borders within the given discourse, thus strengthening the case for a flexible understanding of boundaries.

Keywords:   identity, inner self, outer self, power hierarchies, location, boundaries

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