Caste and Kinship in Central India: A Village and Its Region

Caste and Kinship in Central India: A Village and Its Region

Caste and Kinship in Central India: A Village and Its Region

Caste and Kinship in Central India: A Village and Its Region

Excerpt

This is a book about caste in a village ral India and its surrounding region. The subject can be approached from any village; the problem is how to choose a settlement on which to focus study. On the one hand, the anthropologist can make a random selection of a village; on the other, he can seek a place having certain features which he wishes to study. In neither case can he be certain that he studies a 'typical' village. However, the second kind of village will have characteristics which, it is hoped, will be linked more closely to the problems of research, and will not have features clearly extraneous to them.

It is impossible to define these characteristics too closely without knowledge of the area, if not the village itself. I therefore looked only for general requirements in a village when I arrived in Indore, the capital of Madhya Bharat State, in April 1954. In the first place, I wished to stay in a settlement with a full complement of craft and other service castes, for one of my interests was the way economic interaction between castes occurred when people followed these traditional occupations. This meant that I looked for a village of good size. Second, I wished to study people living outside the orbit of a town (i.e. people who did not go to the town for daily work or trade), yet who were sufficiently in contact with the town to be influenced by recent changes in social behaviour there. This meant choosing a village fairly near a road, yet further than either the fifteen-mile 'pull' of Indore, or the half-dozen-mile 'pull' around the smaller towns of the province. In addition, I avoided a village with tribal people, not wishing to include the problem of tribal acculturation in my study. Finally I desired to live in a place within a newly launched Community Development Block, so that I could study the concomitants of officially sponsored programmes of change. All these conditions were best met in Ramkheri village, lying in the former territory of the Maharaja of Dewas Senior, about seven miles from the small town of Dewas. Dewas itself is known through the writing of Mr. E. M. Forster, and I was fortunate enough to have his and Sir Malcolm Darling's aid in my introduction to Dewas society.

I spent from April 1954 until June 1955 in Malwa, during nearly all of which time I lived in Ramkheri, and I was able to revisit . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.