The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia / Edition 1

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Overview

Continuing the comparative survey of pre-industrial family formation undertaken in The Development of Family and Marriage in Europe (1983), Professor Goody looks in depth at kinship practice in Asia. His findings cause him to question many traditional assumptions about the "primitive" East, and he suggests that, in contrast to pre-colonial Africa, kinship practice in Asia has much in common with that prevailing in parts of pre-industrial Europe. Goody examines the transmission of productive and other property in relation both to the prevailing political economy and to family and ideological structures, and explores the distribution of mechanisms and strategies of management across cultures. The book concludes that notions of western "uniqueness" are often misplaced, and that much previous work on Asian kinship has been unwittingly distorted by the application of concepts and approaches derived from other, inappropriate, social formations.

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Editorial Reviews

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"[Goody] has introduced here evidence on a wide range of Eurasian societies....Even specialists on the particular areas he deals with will find that his outsider's perspective and broad erudition produce many comments and insights that may alter the way they think about the society in which they specialize....well worth reading." American Historical Review

"...this scholarly tour de force will become a standard reference work for many disciplines." Choice

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Preface; 1. The nature of the enterprise; Part I. China: 2. The incorporation of women; 3. The lineage and the conjugal fund; 4. Differentiation, hierarchical and regional; 5. Land, polyandry and celibacy in Tibet; Part II. India: 6. Marriage and the family in Gujarat (with Esther Goody); 7. The high and the low; 8. The North and the South; 9. Kinship and modes of production; Part III. The Near East: 10. The abominations of the Egyptians; 11. Jacob's marriages; 12. Marriage and property in the Arab world; Part IV. Greece and Rome, Yesterday and Today: 13. The heiress in ancient Greece; 14. Monogamy, property and control in Rome; 15. Dowry, continuity and change in the eastern Mediterranean; 16. Asia and Europe; Notes; References; Index.

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