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Anthropology and sociology have long histories in India. Yet, with the exception of fieldwork experience, there is little research available on the institutional and material contexts of these disciplines or on the practices of pioneering anthropologists and sociologists. Filling this important gap, this book spans a century of life and work, from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, and focuses on scholars with varying research trajectories. It shows how local influences and personalities played a major role in shaping the field and it examines their common concern with nation-building, social reform and the value of science.