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The Meaning of White: Race, Class, and the 'Domiciled Community' in British India 1858-1930 (Oxford Historical Monographs) [Hardcover]

Satoshi Mizutani

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Book Description

6 Oct 2011 Oxford Historical Monographs
From 1858 to 1930 the concept of whiteness in British India was complex and contradictory. Under the Raj, the spread of racial ideologies was pervasive, but whiteness was never taken as self-evident. It was constantly called into question and its boundaries were disciplined and policed through socio-cultural and institutional practices.

Only those whites with social status, cultural refinement, and the right level of education were able to command the respect and awe of colonized subjects. Among those who straddled the boundaries of whiteness were the 'domiciled community', made up of mixed-descent 'Eurasians' and racially unmixed 'Domiciled Europeans', both of whom lived in India on a permanent basis. Members of this community, or those who were categorized as such under the Raj, unwittingly rendered the meaning of whiteness ambiguous in fundamental ways.

The colonial authorities quickly identified the domiciled community as a particularly malign source of political instability and social disorder, and were constantly urged to furnish various institutional measures - predominantly philanthropic and educational by character - that specifically targeted its degraded conditions. The Meaning of White reveals the precise ways in which the existence of this community was identified as a problem (the 'Eurasian Question') and examines the deeper historical meanings of this categorization. Dr Mizutani demystifies the ideology of whiteness, situating it within the concrete social realities of colonial history.

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an enviable achievement and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the politics of race and class in colonial India (Dr Amelia Bonea, Reviews in History)

About the Author

Satoshi Mizutani was educated at Sophia University (Japan), the University of Warwick, and St. Antony's College, Oxford before obtaining a DPhil from the History Faculty at Oxford.

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