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Basu, Ranu (1974) Urban Society in Bengal, 1850-1872, With Special Reference to Calcutta. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is concerned with the main aspects of social stratification, control and relationships within the urban Bengali society and with the attitudes and activities of the mid-nineteenth century urban Bengalis. The effects of urbanism upon Bengali society, particularly with reference to the phenomenon of increasing social mobility involving the institutions of caste and the joint family, have been discussed. The growth in the areas and frequency of interaction between different sections, groups and individuals in society has also been dealt with, in the context of various municipal, social, religious and other movements of the time. The Brahma Samaj, the prominent socio-religious movement which mainly appealed to the educated urban Bengalis, has been studied in detail, mainly in view of the nature of the reactions to the Vest and the role of traditionalism in the changing society in urban Bengal. An attempt has been made to analyse the background of the leaders of society, the major forces which influenced them, the various groups through which they functioned, the associations and alliances which they formed and the media and methods which they used in responding to the major contemporary political, social, religious and other questions. Calcutta, the most important city in Bengal, has been given most attention with some reference to the differences between modern and pre-modern cities. This work is primarily based upon contemporary and near-contemporary sources including the papers and records of various government officials, missionaries, societies and associations, as well as newspapers, journals, tracts, pamphlets and books - both in Bengali and English. Later sources such as published books, articles and unpublished theses have also been used.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:17

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