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Caste, Marriage and Inequality: Studies from North and South India

Pauline Kolenda (Author)
Synopsis As an ethnographer of village, Pauline Kolenda has worked in north, central and south India. Fourteen of her papers, written between 1976 and 2001, are collected in this volume. Part I is composed of four papers concerning Khalapur, western Uttar Pradesh, where Kolenda did fieldwork first in 1954 and lat 1998. Two concern ‘untouchable’ Sweepers, one describing how Sweeper women experience the practice of mandatory levirate; the other describing the Sweeper men’s risqu? hum our that seems to turn the system of purdah upside down. A third records changes in the discourse on caste in Khalapur over thirty years, and the lat demonstrates the marked decline in child mortality in Khalapur over recent decades and seek to explain that decline. Part II is composed of four papers concerning villagers of Kanyakumari district, in Tamilnadu, where Kodenda did fieldwork first in 1967 and lat in 1997. Three of the papers concern Smartha Brahmans their loss of the elite status they had when they served the Maharaja of Travancore, their unusual family structure related to their adoption of secular education and migration out for work, and their experiences of out migration. The forth paper discusses the circulation of land among villagers of various caste-communities in Kanyakumari. Kolenda’s ethnographic fieldwork in Rajasthan in the 1960’s and 70’s is an ingredient in the paper in Part III on joint families in Rajasthan that relies heavily on data from the Census of India 1961. Two comparative papers compose Part IV-one comparing the image of ‘woman’ in weddings in Khalapur and in Kanyakumari, and the other comparing brother-sister relations in north, central and south India. In Part V is a paper on Caste in India from the vantage of the mid 1980’s. Finally, Part VI contains two papers on different aspects of inequality. One compares inequality in India and the USA. The other speaks of the too-easy scapegoating of ‘untouchables’ in a scholarly discourse
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About the author

Pauline Kolenda

Pauline Kolenda is Emerita Professor of Anthropology at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA, and a Visiting Scholar in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Bibliographic information

Title Caste, Marriage and Inequality: Studies from North and South India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Rawat Publications
Language: English
isbn 8170337992
length xviii+460p., Tables; Maps; Figures; Plates; References; Index; 23cm