Subjects such as these have by no means been completely ignored by scholarship, but the number of researchers who have engaged with them notwithstanding the considerable importance of some of their publications-remains very small indeed. This is the case with the field with which we are particularly concerned here: social history. Although that designation itself has featured in very few works related to Tibetan societies, there are nevertheless a number of landmark studies on aspects of this discipline that provide a foundation of prior research on which we can build, and that feature repeatedly in the bibliographies of the contributions in this volume; the door is already open, and the pur pose of this collection is to push it further ajar.
The social study of Tibetan-speaking communities has traditionally been the province of anthropologists, rather than historians. Where a diachronic perspective is adopted, it is usually based on oral tradition, or on the type of quasi-historical written accounts that are themselves substantially indebted to legend. As in the case of similar studies in other parts of the world, a social history of Tibetan regions must necessarily make use of local archival material or other documents. Scholarly research on this genre of Tibetan literature is still in its infancy.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Language & Literature (437)
Sacred Sites (103)
Tantric Buddhism (85)
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