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This title in other editions

The Poison in the Gift: Ritual, Prestation, and the Dominant Caste in a North Indian Village

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The Poison in the Gift: Ritual, Prestation, and the Dominant Caste in a North Indian Village Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Poison in the Gift is a detailed ethnography of gift-giving in a North Indian village that powerfully demonstrates a new theoretical interpretation of caste. Introducing the concept of ritual centrality, Raheja shows that the position of the dominant landholding caste in the village is grounded in a central-peripheral configuration of castes rather than a hierarchical ordering. She advances a view of caste as semiotically constituted of contextually shifting sets of meanings, rather than one overarching ideological feature. This new understanding undermines the controversial interpretation advanced by Louis Dumont in his 1966 book, Homo Hierarchicus, in which he proposed a disjunction between the ideology of hierarchy based on the "purity" of the Brahman priest and the "temporal power" of the dominant caste or the king.

Book News Annotation:

Raheja (S. Asian studies, U. Chicago) on the ethnography of gift- giving in a North Indian village. She sets forth a new interpretation of caste showing that members of the dominant landholding caste in the village, rather than the Brahman priests, are the ideological point of reference for the village because of their central role in ritual gift-giving. Her interpretation undermines the controversial point of view advanced by Louis Dumont in his book Homo Hierarchicus.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Preface

1. Introduction: Toward a Redefinition of "Dominance" in North Indian Society

2. Auspiciousness and Inauspiciousness as Cultural Constructs

3. The Structure of Ritual Action

4. The Ritual Contexts of Dan and the Ritual Construction of Gujar Centrality

5. Prestation Types and Terminological Usages: Shifting Configurations of Castes and Kinsmen in Pahansu

6. Conclusions

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226707297
Author:
Raheja, Gloria Goodwin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
India
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Gifts
Subject:
Rites and ceremonies
Subject:
Kinship
Subject:
Pahansu (India)
Subject:
Ceremonial exchange -- India -- Pahansu.
Subject:
Gujars -- Rites and ceremonies.
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
19880931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 halftones, 14 line drawings, 4 maps
Pages:
300
Dimensions:
9.03x6.15x.64 in. .85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Asia
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General

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