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Culture, Creation, and Procreation: Concepts of Kinship in South Asian Practice

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Culture, Creation, and Procreation

Concepts of Kinship in South Asian Practice

Edited by Monika Böck and Aparna Rao

336 pages, 1 map, 13 figs, 6 tables, bibliog, index

ISBN  978-1-57181-911-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2001)

ISBN  978-1-57181-912-3 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2001)

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"I would advise everybody who is interested in new directions in anthropological theory on kinship to read this volume; they could find remarkable observations that would be useful for their own research."  · L'Homme

"[This volume] offers a nuanced exploration of the complexities of the ideology and practice of kinship in this diverse region ... which will be especially useful for graduate students. It also has the potential to serve as a valuable resource for students and scholars investigating kinship outside of South Asia."  · Folklore Bulletin


As reproduction is seen as central to kinship and the biological link as the primary bond between parents and their offspring, Western perceptions of kin relations are primarily determined by ideas about "consanguinity," "genealogical relations," and "genetic connections." Advocates of cultural constructivism have taken issue with a concept that puts so much stress on heredity as being severely biased by western ideas of kinship. Ethnosociologists in particular developed alternative systems using indigenous categories. This symbolic approach has, however, been rejected by some scholars as plagued by the problems of the analytical separation of ideology from practice, of largely overlooking relations of domination, and of ignoring the questions of shared knowledge and choice. This volume offers a corrective by discussing the constitution of kinship among different communities in South Asia and addressing the relationship between ideology and practice, cultural models, and individiual strategies.

Monika Böck is Lecturer at the Institut für Völkerkunde, University of Cologne.

Aparna Rao is Research Associate,Department of Anthropology, Cologne University, Germany.

Subject: General Anthropology Gender Studies
Area: Asia


List of Maps, Figures, and Tables

Introduction: Indigenous Models and Kinship Theories: An Introduction to a South Asian Perspective
Monika Böck and Aparna Rao

Part I: Community and Person

Chapter 1. We, the Brothers of Tiger and Bamboo: On the Notions of Person and Kin in the Eastern Hills of Nepal
Charlotte Hardman

Chapter 2. Village Bodies? Reflections on Locality, Constitution, and Affect in Rajasthani Kinship
Helen Lambert

Chapter 3. Blood, Milk, and Mountains: Marriage Practice and Concepts of Predictability among the Bakkarwal of Jammu and Kashmir
Aparna Rao

Chapter 4. Kinship, Creation, and Procreation among the Vagri of South India
Lukas Werth

Chapter 5. Nature, Nurture, and Kinship: Body Fluids and Experience in the Social Organisation and Identity of a Peripatetic People
Joseph C. Berland

Part II: Gender and Change

Chapter 6. Kinship and Gender Identity: Some Notes on Marumakkathayam in Kerala
Marion H.G. den Uyl

Chapter 7. Habitus and its Implications in Constructing Kinship Ties: Data from a Bangladesh Settlement in Britain
Sultana M. Khanum

Chapter 8. Kinship and Marriage in the Construction of Identity and Group Boundaries among Indians in Mauritius
Oddvar Hollup

Part III: Shared Knowledge in Practice

Chapter 9. Theatre of Memory: Ritual Kinship Performances of the African Diaspora in Pakistan
Helene Basu

Chapter 10. Kinship as Anger: Relations of Resentment in Kalasha Divination
Peter Parkes

Chapter 11. Marriage Strategies in Lahore: Projections of a Model Marriage on Social Processes
Michael Fischer and Wenonah Lyon

Chapter 12. Power and Fertility: Divine Kinship in South India
Anthony Good

Sylvia Vatuk

Notes on Contributors

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