Everyday Life in South Asia

Everyday Life in South Asia

Everyday Life in South Asia

Everyday Life in South Asia

Synopsis

This anthology provides a lively and stimulating view of the lives of ordinary citizens in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. For the second edition of this popular textbook, readings have been updated and new essays added. The result is a timely collection that explores key themes in understanding the region, including gender, caste, class, religion, globalization, economic liberalization, nationalism, and emerging modernities. New readings focus attention on the experiences of the middle classes, migrant workers, and IT professionals, and on media, consumerism, and youth culture. Clear and engaged writing makes this text particularly valuable for general and student readers, while the range of new and classic scholarship provides a useful resource for specialists.

Excerpt

Everyday Life in South Asia centers on the daily lives and experiences of people living in South Asia. Inspired by the focus on practice and everyday life in the work of social theorists, we maintain that one can learn much about social-cultural worlds by examining the daily acts performed by ordinary people as they go through their lives. The book explores the ways people live, make, and experience their worlds through practices such as growing up and aging, arranging marriages, exploring sexuality, going to school, negotiating caste distinctions, practicing religion, participating in democracy, watching television, enduring violence as nations are built, and moving abroad for work. By focusing on the everyday life practices and experiences of particular people, the book conveys important dimensions of social-cultural life in South Asia that could not be imparted solely via abstract theoretical accounts or generalities.

South Asia has witnessed a great deal of social change over recent years, and this new, second edition of Everyday Life in South Asia highlights these changes. To design the first edition (2002), we approached leading scholars of South Asian studies (from the United States, Great Britain, and South Asia) to ask them what they would like, and find important, to contribute to a book on everyday life in South Asia. For this new, second edition, we kept many of those first papers—inviting the authors to update them when relevant—and solicited new ones from scholars whose work focuses on the kinds of critical contemporary issues that have impacted the region and grabbed the media over recent years, and attracted scholars’ attention in new ways. These new essays, and the volume’s new section introductions, explore topics such as the participation of young, middle-class workers in the flourishing call center industry; the impact on local gender systems of the massive out-migration of Sri Lankan housemaids to the oil-producing nations of the Middle East; the force and flavor of new Hindu nationalisms; the contemporary terrain of homosexualities and local “global gay” movements; return migration or “brain drain in reverse” of diasporic professionals to India; and the emergence of new middle-class lifeways amidst far-reaching processes of cultural . . .

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