Public Faces, Private Lives: Community and Individuality in South India

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University of California Press, Dec 19, 1994 - Social Science - 244 pages
Individuality is often viewed as an exclusively Western value. In non-Western societies, collective identities seem to eclipse those of individuals. These generalities, however, have overlooked the importance of personal uniqueness, volition, and achievement in these cultures. As an anthropologist in Tamil Nadu, South India, Mattison Mines found private and public expressions of self in all sectors of society. Based on his twenty-five years of field research, Public Faces, Private Voices weaves together personal life stories, historical description, and theoretical analysis to define individuality in South Asia and to distinguish it from its Western counterpart.

This engaging and controversial book will be of great interest to scholars and students working in anthropology, psychology, sociology, South Asian history, urban studies, and political science.
 

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I'm happy to read this book, since it has the detailed history of my Grandpa Mr.K.A.Kasiviswanatha Mudaliar. I'm Proud!

Contents

Introduction Individuality in South India
1
PUBLIC FACES
29
The Nature of Civic Individuality
31
Institutions and Bigmen of a Madras City Community George Town Today
49
Making the Community George Town in Social History
84
A Portrait of Change
108
The Decline of Community and the Roles of Bigmen
115
PRIVATE VOICES
147
Themes of Individuality in Private and Public Lives Personal Narratives
149
Locating Individuality within the Collective Context
187
Conclusions
199
Notes
209
Bibliography
221
Index
227
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Page 4 - One will thereby avoid inadvertently attributing the presence of the individual to societies in which he is not recognized, and also avoid making him a universal unit of comparison or element of reference.

About the author (1994)

Mattison Mines is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of the The Warrior Merchants: Textiles, Trade, and Territory in South India (1984).

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