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Prof Ritambhara Hebbar

Professor , Mumbai campus

Dean - School of Development Studies

M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Delhi)

Ritambhara Hebbar is Professor and Dean at the School of Development Studies, Mumbai. She has over twenty years of experience in teaching and has taught both at the undergraduate and post graduate levels. She has specialized in tribal studies, specifically on tribal culture, movements for self-rule, and governance. Her publications include her book titled Ecology, Equity and Freedom: Engagement with Self-Rule in Jharkhand (Earthworm 2011). The book is an ethnography of the struggle for self-rule in Jharkhand. It relocates the issue of tribal self-rule in Jharkhand to an experiment with forest restoration in a Ho village that reveals the reflexive engagement of locals over issues of ecology, science, culture and politics. Her coauthored book titled Towards a New Sociology in India (Orient Black Swan 2016) calls for a new sociological imagination, in step with the new realities, political dispensations as well as in the practice of sociology in India. It proposes a politically engaged sociology that is open to researching new sites through a blend of methodologies to unravel the dynamics of lived realities in contemporary India. Her recent research on security guards in Mumbai builds on this larger project, as it reveals the obscurity of dominant characterisation of village, caste and kinship in their narratives about life and work in the city. She is also engaged in a research on tribes in South India to comprehend the nature of anthropological and sociological research on them, and the contemporary situation of tribes in the region. Her other areas of research and writing include Social Institutions and Development Experiences; Rurality, Rural society and Social Change; and Sociology and Social Anthropology in India. She teaches on related themes such as Understanding Indian society, tribes in the contemporary world (focusing on tribal anthropology and cross-cultural perspective on tribes); tribes in India, qualitative research- approaches and methods, methodological issues in development research, social exclusion in India, environment and society, anthropology and development.

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  • Coauthor and Coeditor (with Mahuya Bandyopadhyay), Towards a New Sociology in India. Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2016.
  • Ecology, Equality and Freedom: Engagement with Self-Rule in Jharkhand, Mumbai: Earthworm Books, 2011.

Select Articles/Papers

  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: Reflections from the Field. Sociological Bulletin, 67(3) 1–15, 2018.
  • Reframing the Debate: The Tribal Question and Contemporaneity in Savyasaachi, ed, Intractable conflicts in Contemporary India: Narratives and social movements, London & Delhi: Routledge, 2018.
  • Migrants, Vigilants and Violence: A Study of Security Guards in Mumbai. In Ranabir Samaddar Ed, Cities, Rural Migrants and the Urban Poor: Issues of Violence and Social Justice, Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2018.
  • Is there a New Sociology in India? Reflections on Altered Realities, New Field Sites and Methodological Challenges. In M. Bandyopadhyay and R. Hebbar (Eds.), Towards a New Sociology in India, Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2016.
  • Tribal and Marginalized communities. In Yojana (Min. of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India), January Issue, 2014.
  • Questioning Development or sustaining it? A Case Study from Jharkhand in R. B. Patil, ed, Sustainable Development. Local Issues vis-à-vis Global Agendas. Rawat Publications, 2013.
  • Human Security and the Case of Farmers’ Suicides in India: An Exploration. In C. Banpasirichote, Doneys, Hayes and Sengupta (Eds.), Mainstreaming Human Security: Asian Perspective, Chula Global Network in Collaboration with International Development Studies Programme, Chulalongkorn University, 2012.
  • Women Rights and the Question of Culture: The Ho Tribe of Jharkhand. In B. Barik, P. Kumar and U. Sarode (Eds.), Gender and Human Rights Narrative on Macro-Micro Realities, Jaipur: Rawat Publication, 2010.
  • Framing the Development Debate: The Case of Farmers’ Suicide in India. In C. Sengupta and S. Corbridge (Eds.), Democracy, Development and Decentralisation in India: Continuing Debates, New Delhi: Routledge India, 2010.
  • The Category 'Rural' Revisited: A Dalit Perspective from a Village in Maharashtra. In Imtiaz Ahmad and S. Bhushan (Eds.), Dalit Assertion in Society, Literature and History, Orient Blackswan, Delhi, 2010.
  • Tribal Autonomy and Life Support Systems. In Eleonora Barbieri-Masini, Ed, Quality of Human Resources: Gender and Indigenous Peoples. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, UNESCO, 2009.
  • Forest Bill 2005 and Tribal Areas: Case of Jharkhand, Economic and Political Weekly, 2006, 41 (48), 4952-4956.
  • Homecoming: Ho Women, Work and Land Rights in Jharkhand. Sociological Bulletin, Jan-Apr 2005, Vol 54 No. 1, pp 18-39.
  • Homecoming in the Forest. In Savyasaachi, Ed, Between the Earth and the Sky, Penguin Publications, Delhi, 2005.
  • Adivasis Of India And Development Strategy- Policy Working Paper in Progress (with Lawrence Surendra and Kikkeri Narayan). HIVOS, India, 2004.
  • Social Institutions and Development Challenges (with Sarthi Acharya). Economic and Political Weekly, 2003 (Aug 9-15), Volume XXXVIII, 32: 3343-46.
  • Shifting Contours of Rural Social Institutions: A Sociological Reflection. IASSI (Indian Association of Social Science Institutions) Quarterly, 2003 (Jan-June), Vol. 21, 3 & 4: 57-67.
  • Eternal and Ephemeral: The Significance of Myth and Ritual Among The Ho, 40-9 pp. In Padmaja Sen, Ed, Changing Tribal Life: A Socio-Philosophical Perspective, Concept Publications, Delhi, 2003.
  • An Experiment with Self-Rule: A Case Study of a Ho Village. Social Action. 2002 (April-June), Vol. 52, 2:134-49.
  • From Resistance to Governance, Seminar, 2003 (April), No. 524, Pp 40-5.

Will be updated soon...

Will be updated soon...

Email: rhebbar[at]tiss[dot]edu