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.
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