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Brar, B. S. (1971) Social change and marriage patterns in the North Western Himalayas (i.e. Churaha, Pangi and Ladakh). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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I have suggested here a new approach based on power relations for understanding the social organisation in North India in general and in the North Western Himalayas in particular. The importance of marriage in defining the social structure is generally well recognised. But its direct involvement with power relations and widely different implications of this involvement for dominant and dependant sections of the population has not been explored so far. Marriage norms (for instance hypergamy) in a dominant section of the population or in a more developed area have the capacity to create exactly opposite norms elsewhere. Particular changes provide only dramatic illustrations of this phenomenon. What is normally referred to as traditional social organisation is far from being static or uniform. It is inherently dynamic and closely follows the changes in power relations. I have made it clear by working along three dimensions namely spatial, hierarchical and temporal. This approach has given me a. new way of looking at particular problems concerning stratification and social mobility, co existence of widely different forms of marriage, marriage stability, kinship relations, position of women etc. In explaining the differences in particular values and practices in different areas, this approach is directly opposed to that of a culturologist who tends to stress the lack of interaction instead.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:57

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