Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

Indian Society and Ways of Living

Organization of Social Life in India

Student of an English school in Rajasthan, India. (since1969/flickr)

Student of an English school in Rajasthan, India. (since1969/flickr)

Organization of Social Life in India


Bumiller, Elisabeth. May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey among the Women of India. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1990.

Das Gupta, Monica, and Li Shuzhuo. “Gender Bias in China, the Republic of Korea, and India 1920-90: Effects of War, Famine, and Fertility Decline.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 2140. 1999. Forthcoming in Development and Change, Special Issue on Gendered Poverty and Wellbeing. Available from [email protected] or downloadable from

Deliege, Robert. The Untouchables of India. Oxford: Berg Press, 1999.

Dubey, Suman. “The Middle Class.” India Briefing 1992. Eds. Leonard A. Gordon and Philip Oldenburg. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, in cooperation with Asia Society. 137-64.

Dugger, Celia W. “Modern Asia’s Anomaly: The Girls Who Don’t Get
Born.” The New York Times, 6 May 2001.

Fuller, C.J., ed. Caste Today. SOAS Studies on South Asia: Understandings and Perspectives. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Gould, Harold A. “Political Economy and Emergence of a Modern Class
System in India.” Boeings and Bullock-Carts: Studies in Change and Continuity in Indian Civilization: Essays in Honour of K. Ishwaran, 1: India: Culture and Society. Ed. Yogendra K. Malik. Delhi: Chanakya, 1990. 155-86.

Jacobson, Doranne. “The Veil of Virtue: Purdah and the Muslim Family in the Bhopal Region of Central India.” Family, Kinship, and Marriage among Muslims in India. Ed. Imtiaz Ahmad. New Delhi: Manohar Book Service, 1976. 169-215.

———. Purdah in India: Life Behind the Veil.” National Geographic Magazine August 1977: 152(2). 270-286.

———. “The Chaste Wife: Cultural Norm and Individual Experience.” American Studies in the Anthropology of India. Ed. Sylvia Vatuk. New Delhi: American Institute of Indian Studies and Manohar Publications, 1978. 95-138.

———. “Purdah and the Hindu Family in Central India.” Separate Worlds: Studies of Purdah in South Asia. Eds. H. Papanek and G. Minault. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books, 1982 and Delhi: Chanakya Publications, 1982.

———. India: Land of Dreams and Fantasy. London: W.H. Smith, 1992.

———. “Gender Relations: Changing Patterns in India.” Asia: Case Studies in the Social Sciences: A Guide for Teaching. Ed. Myron L. Cohen. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1992. 46-66.

———. “Women’s Work in a Central Indian Village.” Women and Work in
South Asia: Regional Patterns and Perspectives
. Eds. S. Raju and D. Bagchi London: Routledge, 1993. 158-179.

———. “A Reverence for Cows.” Natural History. June 1999. 58-63.

———. “Golden Handprints and Red-Painted Feet: Hindu Childbirth Rituals in Central India.” Unspoken Worlds: Women’s Religious Lives. Eds. N.E. Falk and R.M. Gross. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 2000. 83-102.

Jacobson, Doranne, and Susan S. Wadley. Women in India: Two Perspectives, 3rd enlarged edition. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books, 1999 and New Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1999.

Lynch, Owen M. “Stratification, Inequality, Caste System: India.” Asia: Case Studies in the Social Sciences: A Guide for Teaching. Ed. Myron L. Cohen. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1992. 67-80.

———. “Untouchables in India’s Civil/Uncivil Democracy: A Review
Article.” Ethnos 66.2 (2001): 259-268.

Mandelbaum, David G. Society in India: Continuity and Change, 2 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970.

———. Women’s Seclusion and Men’s Honor: Sex Roles in North India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988.

Mendelsohn, Oliver, and Marika Vicziany. The Untouchables: Subordination, Poverty, and the State in Modern India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Miller, Barbara D. The Endangered Sex: Neglect of Female children in Rural North India. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981.

Papanek, Hanna, and Gail Minault, eds. Separate Worlds: Studies of Purdah in South Asia. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books, 1982 and New Delhi: Chanakya Publications, 1982.

Roland, Alan. In Search of Self in India and Japan: Toward a Cross-Cultural Psychology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.

Sharma, Miriam. The Politics of Inequality: Competition and Control in an Indian Village, 2nd ed. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984.

Sharma, Ursula. Caste. Concepts in the Social Sciences. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1999.

Zelliot, Eleanor. From Untouchable to Dalit. Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1996.


i For many references, see Mandelbaum 1970, Roland 1988, and Jacobson and Wadley 1999.

ii Purdah is discussed in detail in Jacobson 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, and 1992; Papanek and Minault 1982; and Mandelbaum 1988.

iii According to demographers and economists, perhaps 50 to 80 million more girls and women might be alive today in India and China if they had received treatment equal to that of males (Dugger 2001). The disadvantages of being female have been amply researched; see, for example, Miller 1981, Das Gupta and Li 1999, and Bumiller 1990. In general, census figures show lower sex ratios in northern India than in the south, but in only one state—the southern state of Kerala—are there more females than males (1,058 females per 1,000 males).

iv Much has been written about caste, untouchability, and B.R. Ambedkar. For recent overviews on changes in caste, see Fuller 1996 and U. Sharma 1999. For a focus on untouchability, see Lynch 2001, Mendelsohn and Vicziany 1998, Deliege 1999, and Zelliot 1996. Especially helpful to teachers is Lynch’s 1992 outline of stratification in India.

v See M. Sharma 1984, Gould 1990.

vi See Dubey 1992.

This essay is © 2004 Doranne Jacobson and may be reproduced only with the permission of the author.