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Village Life in South India : Cultural Design and Environmental Variation - Alan R. Beals

Village Life in South India

Cultural Design and Environmental Variation

Paperback Published: 15th September 2011
ISBN: 9781412842730
Number Of Pages: 189

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The traditional South Indian village pictures the entire universe as an entity in which all living things and human beings play a necessary and effective role. The stability of this worldview is based on a close relationship among human beings, grain crops, and cattle, which has permitted the continuous exploitation of agricultural lands over several centuries. Taken as a whole, the life of South Indian villagers represents a subtle and complicated adaptation to complex and variable environmental circumstances. It now faces the challenge of adjusting to modernization.

After a fascinating description of the traditional South Indian worldview, Alan R. Beals describes the settlement patterns and social structures that characterize village life, the agricultural technology and ecology, and the techniques of population regulation that have traditionally operated to maintain appropriate man-to-land ratios. He then explains the relationships among villages, including marriage and economic exchanges, and the omnipresent influence of hierarchies of caste and social ranking.

Over the past 2,000 years, South Indian civilization has undergone constant change and modification. Empires have risen and fallen, famine and plague have swept the land, and cities have been built and forgotten. But through all these years of change, the traditional South Indian village has maintained its basic character, adjusting to a variety of environments and countless conquests, yet always adhering to a single basic pattern of life. Village Life in South India, originally published in 1974, provides the reader not only with a still-valid description of a particular and distinctive way of life, but also with an explanation of how life is explained in ecological theory.

Industry Reviews

"Professor Beals does . . . establish the usefulness of the ecological strategy in such studies. He demonstrates how land, men, and animals are interlocked to produce enduring structures and patterns."

--K. Ishwaran, The American Political Science Review


"[A] refreshing approach to the study of village life in South India, lucid in style and rich in insights."

--M. S. A. Rao, The Journal of Asian Studies


"[I]t is a stimulating book and one that should be read by South Asianists and specialists in other peasant societies."

--Lauren A. Corwin, American Anthropologist


"[I]nteresting and very readable."

--Adrian C. Mayer, Man, New Series


"[I]t is a stimulating book and one that should be read by South Asianists and specialists in other peasant societies."

--Lauren A. Corwin, American Anthropologist


"[A] refreshing approach to the study of village life in South India, lucid in style and rich in insights."

--M. S. A. Rao, The Journal of Asian Studies


"Professor Beals does . . . establish the usefulness of the ecological strategy in such studies. He demonstrates how land, men, and animals are interlocked to produce enduring structures and patterns."

--K. Ishwaran, The American Political Science Review


"[I]nteresting and very readable."

--Adrian C. Mayer, Man, New Series


"The great merit of this work is that it is lucid and forthright in its comments, and has been clearly inspired by a genuine concern for the people studied. Its ecological propositions are original and deserve to be debated widely."

--K. Ishwaran, The American Political Science Review

"Professor Beals outlines the social characteristics of the villages in a series of chapters on such topics as economics, religion, politics, kinship and marriage, etc... [A] useful... account of the main outlines of the three villages that Professor Beals has studied."

--Adrian C. Mayer, Man

"[A] refreshing approach to the study of village life in South India, lucid in style and rich in insights."

--M. S. A. Rao, Journal of Asian Studies

"This book... draws upon the author's research since 1952 in three villages in the Kannada-speaking uplands of South India... [T]his is a competent book that will be well received."

--F. G. Bailey, Contemporary Sociology

"[A] stimulating book, and one that should be read by South Asianists and specialists in other peasant societies."

--Lauren A. Corwin, American Anthropologist


"The great merit of this work is that it is lucid and forthright in its comments, and has been clearly inspired by a genuine concern for the people studied. Its ecological propositions are original and deserve to be debated widely."

--K. Ishwaran, The American Political Science Review

"Professor Beals outlines the social characteristics of the villages in a series of chapters on such topics as economics, religion, politics, kinship and marriage, etc... [A] useful... account of the main outlines of the three villages that Professor Beals has studied."

--Adrian C. Mayer, Man

"[A] refreshing approach to the study of village life in South India, lucid in style and rich in insights."

--M. S. A. Rao, Journal of Asian Studies

"This book... draws upon the author's research since 1952 in three villages in the Kannada-speaking uplands of South India... [T]his is a competent book that will be well received."

--F. G. Bailey, Contemporary Sociology

"[A] stimulating book, and one that should be read by South Asianists and specialists in other peasant societies."

--Lauren A. Corwin, American Anthropologist


-The great merit of this work is that it is lucid and forthright in its comments, and has been clearly inspired by a genuine concern for the people studied. Its ecological propositions are original and deserve to be debated widely.-

--K. Ishwaran, The American Political Science Review

-Professor Beals outlines the social characteristics of the villages in a series of chapters on such topics as economics, religion, politics, kinship and marriage, etc... [A] useful... account of the main outlines of the three villages that Professor Beals has studied.-

--Adrian C. Mayer, Man

-[A] refreshing approach to the study of village life in South India, lucid in style and rich in insights.-

--M. S. A. Rao, Journal of Asian Studies

-This book... draws upon the author's research since 1952 in three villages in the Kannada-speaking uplands of South India... [T]his is a competent book that will be well received.-

--F. G. Bailey, Contemporary Sociology

-[A] stimulating book, and one that should be read by South Asianists and specialists in other peasant societies.-

--Lauren A. Corwin, American Anthropologist

Forewordp. 7
Introductionp. 9
The South Indian Worldp. 27
Village Plans and Structuresp. 45
Agricultural Technologyp. 64
Agricultural Ecologyp. 78
Population Regulationp. 92
Intervillage Relationships: Jati and Marriagep. 107
Intervillage Relationships: Economic Exchangep. 124
The Government and the Villagep. 134
Religious Rituals and Institutionsp. 148
Modernization: The New Ecologyp. 160
The Seamless Webp. 175
Suggested Further Readingp. 185
Indexp. 187
Photographs-following page 91
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781412842730
ISBN-10: 1412842735
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 189
Published: 15th September 2011
Publisher: ALDINE PUB
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.29

Earn 241 Qantas Points
on this Book