Everyday Life in South Asia, Second Edition

Everyday Life in South Asia, Second Edition

Edited by Diane Mines and Sarah E. Lamb
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/16/2010
ISBN: 978-0-253-01357-6
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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.

Author Bio

Diane P. Mines is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University. She is author of Fierce Gods: Inequality, Ritual, and the Politics of Dignity in a South Indian Village (IUP, 2005).

Sarah Lamb is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Brandeis University. She is author of White Saris and Sweet Mangoes: Aging, Gender and Body in North India and Aging and the Indian Diaspora: Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad (IUP, 2009).


“This vivid anthology focuses on the daily lives and experiences of people living in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Topics include marriage and sexuality, caste hierarchies, religion, popular culture, youth and aging, enduring violence, and emigration. Drawing from anthropology, history, religious studies, and other fields, leading scholars from around the world consider the diversity of life experiences and perspectives in contemporary South Asia.”

“This updated and expanded anthology provides a stimulating view of the lives of ordinary citizens in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The result is a timely and vivid collection that explores key themes in understanding the region, including gender, caste, class, religion, globalization, economic liberalization, nationalism, and emerging modernities.”

“Mines and Lamb have once again provided an eminently readable, highly engaging and varied set of case studies, organized along major axes of current concern, both practical and intellectual. . . . [A] real joy to teach!”
 — Margaret Mills, The Ohio State University

“This wonderful collection serves as a unique introduction to cultural life in contemporary South Asia. The essays included here provide insights into everyday life that are unavailable from any other single source. This text will be of great interest to scholars and students in anthropology, sociology, gender studies, religious studies, geography, and communication studies.”
 — Akhil Gupta, University of California, Los Angeles

“Richly informative but accessible and user friendly for classroom use. . . . This excellent volume of essays belongs in many places—on the shelves of specialists and non-specialists alike.”
 — Journal of Asian Studies

“[T]he book offers keenly observed ethnographic snapshots, theorized by the authors and contextualized by the engaging section introductions. Indeed, the varied, rich, and sensitive portrayal of the ordinary (and extraordinary) lives of South Asians of vastly diverse backgrounds is just one of the volume's many strengths. ”
 — Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“Everyday Life in South Asia . . . is extremely accessible and has plenty to offer as introductory material for a wide range of topics. ”
 — New Asia Books

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Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration

I. The Family and the Life Course
1. One Straw from a Broom Cannot Sweep: The Ideology and Practice of the Joint Family in Rural North India Susan S. Wadley
2. Allah Gives Both Boys and Girls Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery
3. "Out Here in Kathmandu": Youth and the Contradictions of Modernity in Urban Nepal Mark Liechty
4. Rethinking Courtship, Marriage and Divorce in an Indian Call Center Cari Costanzo Kapur
5. Love and Aging in Bengali Families Sarah Lamb

II. Genders
6. New Light in the House: Schooling Girls in Rural North India Ann Grodzins Gold
7. Offstage with Special Drama Actresses in Tamilnadu, South India: Roadwork Susan Seizer
8. Breadwinners No More: Identities in Flux Michele Ruth Gamburd
9. Life on the Margins: A Hijra’s Story Serena Nanda
10. Crossing "Lines" of Difference: Transnational Movements and Sexual Subjectivities in Hyderabad, India Gayatri Reddy

III. Caste, Class and Community
11. Seven Prevalent Misconceptions about India’s Caste System
12. God-Chariots in a Garden of Castes: Hierarchy and Festival in a Hindu City Steven M. Parish
13. High and Low Castes in Karani Viramma, with Josiane Racine and Jean Luc Racine
14. Weakness, Worry Illness, and Poverty in the Slums of Dhaka Sabina Faiz Rashid
15. Anjali’s Alliance: Class Mobility in Urban India Sara Dickey
16. Recasting the Secular: Religion and Education in Kerala, India Ritty Lukose

IV. Practicing Religion
17. The Hindu Gods in a South Indian Village Diane P. Mines
18. The Feast of Love McKim Marriott
19. The Delusion of Gender and Renunciation in Buddhist Kashmir Kim Gutschow
20. Muslim Village Intellectuals: The Life of the Mind in Northern Pakistan Magnus Marsden
21. In Friendship: A Father, a Daughter and a Jinn Naveeda Khan
22. Vernacular Islam at