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Kinship in Bengali Culture

Ralph W. Nicholas (Author) Ronald Inden (Author)
Synopsis Kinship has been a central concern of anthropology for more than a century. As a key element in the organization of every human society, kinship is also a major source of the principles that guide people in the other spheres of life. Ronald B. Inden, a historian of India, and Ralph W. Nicholas, an anthropologist who has studied contemporary Bengali culture and society, have joined complementary skills to analyze the kinship system of a major human society that possesses an ancient, literate civilization and a tradition of analytical thought. The re-publication of this book is intended as a contribution to the dialogue of cultures that has developed in the twenty-first century. Kinship in this book is approached through the categories and meanings provided by coherent pattern of cultural premises that lie behind the kinship categories of Bengal, and other regions of India as well. They interpret the samskara rites, including the marriage ceremony, and show how the terms used to address and describe relatives are related to the kinship categories and how these categories are transformed by marriage. Based on years of field research in Bengal as well as Sanskrit and Bengali texts, Kinship in Bengali Culture provides a culturally sensitive approach to the study of kingship and of symbolic systems.
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About the authors

Ralph W. Nicholas

Ralph W. Nicholas is William Rainey Harper Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. He began anthorpological research in Bengal villages in 1960 and this field remains his foremost intellectual concern. He served as Chairman of the Department of Anthropology. Dean of the College, Director of the Center for International Studies, and President of the International House at the University of Chicago before returning more directly to his research in Bengal. He has long been active in the American Institute of Indian Studies, and in 2002 became its President. His studies combine detailed fieldwork with overarching concerns of Anthorpology and South Asian Studies.

Ronald Inden

Ronald B. Inden is Professor of History and of South Asian Language and Civilization , and an Associate Member of the Anthropology Department at the University of Chicago. He is also a Professional Research Associate of the Centre of South Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Among other works, he is the author of Imagining India. He is currently investigating the rise of electronic media in Asia, examining their relationship to world ruling classes and national or ethnic identities in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He is interested in people’s efforts to construct paradises or utopias on earth, practices that range from rituals to media and especially in India the world of cinema.

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Bibliographic information

Title Kinship in Bengali Culture
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Chronicle Books
Language: English
isbn 8180280187
length xxx+139p., Tables; Notes; References; Appendices; Index; 22cm.
Subjects History