THE SOCIAL AND THE SYMBOLIC (Communication Processes Series)


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ISBN 9789350028292


This book argues that communication – an exchange of symbols – is the essence of society and that this exchange is the foundation on which the human collective is based. It explores how the collective sense of the self is defined either with reference to, or in defiance of, dominant existing traditions. The various essays highlight the links between culture studies and the use of communication in binding together a community as also to provide a voice to the unheard and the unsung.Beginning by describing the pertinence of communication to grasping the overall substance of social reality, the volume is divided into the following three parts:

– Forms of self-identity: This section looks at the emergence and construction of personal and collective identities through myths, religious idioms, stories and traditions of marginalized communities.

– Grounds of work relations: Here, the contributors focus on occupations and vocations of the peasant and artisan communities of western India.

– Bonds of health practices: The focus of this section is on healthcare practices and knowledge of traditional communities.

The second in a three-volume series titled Communication Processes, this book will be of considerable interest to scholars of communication and media studies, oral studies as also social workers dealing with health practices.

Bernard Bel, a computer scientist with an electronics background, pioneered real-time melodic movement analysis for Indian music, alongside rule-based drumming modeling. He earned a 1990 PhD in theoretical computer science and undertook projects in musicology and anthropology. Co-founding workshops and the Speech Prosody Special Interest Group, he focused on prosody and language representation. Now retired, he dedicates time to healthcare research, computational musicology, and a unique corpus of grindmill songs via People’s Archive of Rural India.

Jan Brouwer is an anthropologist, author of The Makers of the World (OUP) which will be enriched with a new chapter for its 2nd edition by Primus Books soon. His current work Business and Culture with co-author Dr Mark Avery and a monograph on Kodava (Coorg) Culture: Interface Between the Material and the Mental. He can be reached at,

Biswajit Das is Professor and founding Director of Centre for Culture, Media & Governance. He has over four decades of teaching and research experiences in the field of theory, method and history of Communication in India. His latest publications include Gandhian Thought and Communication(ed.) (Sage, 2020), Caste, Communication and Power (ed.) (Sage, 2021). Seeing South Asia: Visuals beyond Borders (ed.) (Routledge, 2022), Korean Wave in South Asia: Transcultural flow, fandom and Identity (ed.) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) and Pedagogy in Practice: Project-Based Learning in Media policy & Governance (ed.) (Bloomsbury,2022).

Vibodh Parthasarathi maintains a multidisciplinary interest in media policy/business/history. Associate Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, he has been a visiting scholar at University of Queensland, KU Leuven, University of Helsinki, and IIT Bombay, and an affiliate at Lund University and Central European University. Widely published in leading scientific journals, including anchoring several special issues, his edited volumes include Pedagogy in Practice (Bloomsbury, 2022) and The Indian Media Economy (OUP, 2018). Currently, he is Associate Editor of the Journal of Digital Media and Policy.

Guy Poitevin (1934-2004) was a social activist and scholar. He was the Director of the Centre for Cooperative Research in Social Sciences (CCRSS) in Pune which he had founded in 1982.


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