Book Review of Shifting Landscapes: The Making and Remaking of Village commons in India by Rita Brara, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, American, Volume 36, Number 3, p.263–264 (2007)



Social anthropological work in India in the last decade has seen a neglect of rural and agrarian issues, with the discipline?s focus shifting to concerns like sexuality, globalization, diaspora, and urbanity. In this milieu Shifting Landscapes marks an exception and is an important addition to the study of rurality in India. It puts commons (as opposed to private property that has received substantial scholarly attention) at the centre of theorizing about rurality. The book argues for theorizing the village as a frame for locating fluid social representations and practices rather than as a reified community. While emphasizing the importance of the commons, especially pastures, in studying the village, it makes a case for exploring the linkages between agriculture and pastoralism.


Copyright of this book review belongs to American Sociological Association.