In the club

Associational life in colonial South Asia

By Benjamin Cohen

In the club


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9810-9
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: May 2015
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Humanities / Asian history, Modern History, History, Indian sub-continent, Asian history, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


In the club presents a comprehensive examination of social clubs across South Asia, arguing for clubs as key contributors to South Asia's colonial associational life and civil society. Using government records, personal memoirs, private club records, and club histories themselves, In the club explores colonial club life with chapters arranged thematically: the legal underpinnings of clubs; their physical locations and compositions; their financial health; the role of servants and staff as employees of clubs; issues of race and class in clubs; women's clubs; and finally clubs in their postcolonial milieus. This book will be critical reading for scholars of South Asia, graduate students, and intellectually engaged club members alike.


'Hopefully, scholars currently working on clubs around the British Empire will have the advantage of Cohen's work, which demonstrates the ways that clubs can reveal facts about the private life of the British Empire and details about civil society in South Asia.'
AMY MILNE-SMITH, Wilfrid Laurier University, American Historical Review

'The volume will be a useful reference work for those wanting to know the specific mechanics of how exactly clubs were founded and flourished, for those exploring associational life more broadly, and for those examining social life within India writ large.'
Amy Milne-Smith, Wilfrid Laurier University, AHR


1. Club rules
2. Around the club
3. The business of clubbing
4. Servants and staff
5. Race, class and the club
6. Women and the club
7. Postcolonial clubbing


Benjamin B. Cohen is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Utah

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