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Osella, Caroline and Osella, Filippo (1996) 'Articulation of Physical and social bodies in Kerala.' Contributions to Indian Sociology, 30 (1). pp. 37-68.

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This paper uses ethnography from Kerala to examine the concept of sneham, simultaneously an oily bodily fluid and the quality of nurturant affection. Sneham, which flows and circulates within and between persons in intimate moral relations, is the joint lubricant essential to the health of both physical and social bodies. Connections between sneham's two meanings are traced, and sneham's role in the foundation of a powerful metaphor—patronlemployer as father— is examined, drawing upon two domains of ethnography:—popular knowledge about bodily health and physical characteristics; and gift exchanges within the family and between landowners and labourers.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 00699659
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:14

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