Author: Vandana Madan
Editor: Vandana Madan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195658205
The Village in India brings together selections from some of the most important works on Indian villages, judiciously blending geographical range with analytical depth. Each essay has been chose with special attention to readability and accessibility, making the volume an excellent introduction to Indian society in general
The Indian village has deep roots in history and remains spatially, demographically, ecologically and culturally central to the constitution of society. The readings comprising this volume, drawn mainly from the work of sociologists and social anthropologies, focus on the second half of the twentieth century.
They are arranged under the rubrics of: Themes and Perspective; Caste, Kinship, Locality, and Gender; Economy and Survival; power and Politics; religion, Culture, and Ideology; and Development and Change.
This selection of readings is thus representative of the myriad dimensions of life in village India. The thematic arrangement of the essays and the editor’s introduction for each section, with further readings, make this volume especially valuable. The reader will find here both the analytical frameworks with which to comprehend the complexities of village life, as well as vivid ethnographic vignettes from villages across the country.
These frameworks and the relevance of studying the village in India are lucidly discussed in the editor’s general introduction. Madan traces the development of village studies from Dumont to the present, covering important landmarks as well as the less visible shifts in method, approach and discourse. The general introduction is therefore especially useful for students of the social sciences.
Readability and accessibility, makes this volume an excellent introduction to Indian society in general, and one of its most important components-the village-in particular. Students, specialists and general readers will find here both illumination and pleasure.
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS
This collection of readings on Village India will meet an important need among students and teachers of sociology and social anthropology in India and hopefully also outside India. It will also be of use to the general reader, including those preparing for various competitive examinations. The editor has written a comprehensive and scholarly introduction which provides a well-balanced survey of the large and diverse literature on the subject that has grown in the last fifty years.
-Andre Beteille, Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, UK, author of Antinomies of Society (OUP 2001) and Sociology (OUP 2002)