Rural Society in Southeast India

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Overview

This book is a comparative study of caste and class in two small villages in the Thanjāvūr district of southeast India based on fieldwork done by the author in 1951-3. Differing from the usual village study, Gough's work traces the history of the villages over the past century and examines the impact of colonialism on the district since 1770. The volume's theoretical significance lies in its attempt to define more clearly the characteristics of rural class relations, particularly addressing the question whether Indian agrarian relations are still precapitalist. This study not only provides a vivid account of village life in southeast India in the 1950s (to be followed by a later study done in the 1970s), but also contributes to theory concerning modes of production, class structures in the Third World, and underdevelopment.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Thanjāvūr: 1. The district; 2. Castes and religious groups; 3. The agriculturalists; 4. The nonagriculturalists; 5. Variations in ecology, demography and social structure; 6. The colonial background and the sources of poverty; 7. Political parties; Part II. Kumbapettai: 8. The face of the village; 9. Kumbapettai before 1855; 10. Kumbapettai from 1855 to 1952; 11. The annual round; 12. Economics and class structure: the petty bourgeoisie; 13. Independent commodity producers and traders; 14. The semiproletariat; 15. Village politics: religion, caste and class; 16. Village politics: the street assembly; 17. Class struggle and village power structure; Part III. Kirippūr: 18. East Thanjāvūr; 19. The village; 20. Economy and class structure; 21. Village politics: the caste Hindūs; 22. The Communist movement; 23. Conclusion; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

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