What is it about?

One of the everyday means to discriminate communities is to mark them as smelly. This is true of the minority Miya Muslim community of Assam, northeast of India. The paper highlights the community’s experience of living and resisting the tag of smelling foul.

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Why is it important?

While there is a growing research on the institutional modes of discrimination against the Miya community in India (focused on issues of citizenship debates), this is the first academic study to my knowledge which looks into smell as a everyday form of discrimination. In general too, smell as an axis of discrimination and racialisation has limited serious scholarship around the world.


My research began with tracing the more institutional forms of discrimination. But as my work progressed I realized that everyday discrimination located in the idea of smell required my attention, which eventually became the rationale of this paper.

Sampurna Das
University of Delhi

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Odor, deodorization, and reodorization: Reflections of olfactory discrimination in the chars of Assam, India., Peace and Conflict Journal of Peace Psychology, April 2023, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/pac0000670.
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