After completing a BA in social philosophy from Mysore, I went to Bombay to do graduate work in sociology with GS Ghurye, who had been a student of WHR Rivers at Cambridge in the 1920s. At the end of eight years, I became disillusioned with diffusionism and unfocused ethnography. I then went to Oxford, where I worked first with AR Radcliffe-Brown and then EE Evans-Pritchard. At Oxford, I became a structural- functionalist, albeit a somewhat skeptical one. After teaching at Oxford from 1948 to 1951, I returned to India to teach sociology at the University of Baroda. Eight years later, I went to the University of Delhi as Professor of Sociology, and finally moved to Bangalore in 1972 to start, with VKRV Rao, the Institute for Social and Economic Change. As an anthropologist, I am somewhat of a maverick in that I study my own culture and not any distant Other.


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