Information and Behavior in a Sikh Village: Social Organization Reconsidered

Information and Behavior in a Sikh Village: Social Organization Reconsidered

Information and Behavior in a Sikh Village: Social Organization Reconsidered

Information and Behavior in a Sikh Village: Social Organization Reconsidered

Excerpt

The theory put forth in this book has grown out of ideas that led me, seven years ago, to a field study focusing on marriage rituals in a Punjabi Sikh village. The pattern of growth has been erratic and would be difficult to explain, but it has certain points where certain intellectual debts are due.

My basic method for delineating systems of concepts (which I call conscious sociological models), together with the closely related approach to the analysis of rituals, was the first component of the work to reach its present form. This took shape before the field study, largely under the tutelage of Professor David M. Schneider of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Chicago. The second component, slightly less old, is the use of information theory to interpret statistical results--an approach in which I received help and encouragement from Professor Harrison White, who was then also at Chicago. At first, the approach to structure and ritual was not integrated with the approach to statistical description. I am deeply indebted to Professor Harold Garfinkel for the concept of "everyday behavior" that bridged this gap by providing a common focus that both subsidiary analyses could be referred to. These three key developments led to the field project.

My research proposal was supported by a grant of the United States Public Health Service, Mental Health Division (No. MH 08194), and I arrived in India in May of 1964. In New Delhi, Dr. Indera Paul Singh of the Department of Anthropology, Delhi University, graciously served as my host and adviser. Later, Dr. S. R. K. Chopra . . .

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