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The Meaning of WhiteRace, Class, and the 'Domiciled Community' in British India 1858-1930$
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Satoshi Mizutani

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697700

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697700.001.0001

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India’s ‘Domiciled Community’: The Ambivalence of Whiteness under the British Raj

(p.1) Introduction
The Meaning of White

Satoshi Mizutani

Oxford University Press

This chapter clarifies the book’s aim, scope, and approach. It first explains why and how the emergence of the ‘domiciled community’ (made of mixed-descent ‘Eurasians’ and ‘Domiciled Europeans’) in colonial India should be seen as inseparably linked to the historical construction of ‘whiteness’ under British rule and to the various socio-cultural measures which were meant to discipline its boundaries. The prime task of the book, the chapter argues, is to reveal the precise ways in which the existence of the community was identified as a problem—or as what was then called the ‘Eurasian Question’—and to ponder the deeper historical meanings of such problematization itself. The chapter then lays out the book’s theoretical frameworks by situating it within current theoretical debates in post/colonial studies. Finally, the chapter discusses the scope and limits of the book in terms of historical span, geographical areas, primary sources.

Keywords:   whiteness, boundaries, India, domiciled community, post/colonial studies, theoretical frameworks

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