Sociological research on Indian families has largely focused on questions of household form and structure, to the exclusion of not only the more nebulous dimensions of family life and relationships but also the discursive and imagined aspects of our familial worlds such as may be accessed through an analysis of film, literature and the electronic media. Moreover, when sociological inquiry has sought to go beyond the demographic and census aspects of the household, it has trained its eye on the heterosexual family centred on the conjugal couple, frequently at the expense of those relational patterns and diversities that fall outside the familiar circuits of desire within the family. The present volume brings together ten essays from a range of disciplines including law, literature, anthropology, sociology, and queer studies, to engage with hitherto neglected and emergent aspects of Indian family life.
This book was published as a special issue of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Ira Raja 2. Chosen Families and Self-Transformations in Dhan Gopal Mukerji’s Books for Children, 1920s–1930s Rimli Bhattacharya 3. The Romance of Siblinghood in Bombay Cinema Ruth Vanita 4. Aliens, Aliases, Surrogates and Familiars: The Family in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Short Stories Deepika Bahri 5. Contested Representations of Remittances and the Transnational Family Supriya Singh and Anuja Cabraal 6. In/dependence, Intergenerational Uncertainty, and the Ambivalent State: Perceptions of Old Age Security in India Sarah Lamb 7. Contractarianism and the Ethic of Care in Indian Fiction Ira Raja 8. Feminist Mothering? Some Reflections on Sexuality and Risk from Urban India Shilpa Phadke 9. My Brother’s Keeper: Regulation of the Brother–Sister Relationship in the Religious Personal Laws of India Archana Parashar and Vijaya Nagarajan 10. Desirable or Dysfunctional? Family in Recent Indian English-Language Fiction Paul Sharrad 11. White and Indian? Intermarriage and Narrative Authority in South Asian American Fiction Shameem Black
Ira Raja is Assistant Professor in English at the University of Delhi, India, and Honorary Research Associate, Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology, La Trobe University, Australia. She has edited Grey Areas: An Anthology of Indian Fiction on Ageing (2010), with Kay Souter, An Endless Winter’s Night: Mother-Daughter Stories from India (2010), and with John Thieme, The Table is Laid: The Oxford Anthology of South Asian Food Writing (2007). Her work has appeared in journals such as South Asian History and Culture, Narrative, Thesis Eleven, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, among others.