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- DescriptionThe two volumes, the award-winning A Punjabi Village in Pakistan and The Ecomic Life of a Punjabi Village are based on extensive fieldwork in Pakistan and contain relevant insights into Pakistani society, particularly women, still pertinent today, as well as a more holistic and humanistic view of village life. Eglar's study is useful for precisely what she focused on-the patterns of ritual service and gift exchange which underlay every facet of life in the village. Together the two books present an in-depth outsider-insider perspective into the social and ecomic patterns of a village in Pakistan prior to the Green Revolution of 1958 which heralded the beginnings of change in village agriculture and land ownership. Of particular advantage to the research was the fact that Eglar's sources of information were t limited to one or the other gender. As a guest of the Chowdhry family she could initially stay in the baithak (guest house), traditionally an all-male preserve situated close to the main house where villagers would gather over a smoke and chat after their day's work. In addition, as a woman, she could freely enter the women's domain and participate in and observe their daily activities. In her work, Eglar found unwritten social contracts and relationships kwn as vartan bhanji that bound the community at different levels. The well-established networking patterns of vartan bhanji cemented relationships within the family. These patterns then extended beyond the family to the wider village community and further, to other villages in the area. The unwritten code also sustained professional relationships between the landowning zamindars, the tenant farmers and the kammis (literally, 'those who work', people in service professions). Vartan bhanji in the male domain revolved around farming and its associated trades, with various reciprocal exchanges moving the ecomy along, rather than cash payments. However, women played a central role. It is this dual aspect that Eglar details in the sequel. Eglar's Mohla studies together make an important contribution to the understanding of women's role in this predominantly Muslim, agrarian society. A Punjabi Village records women as being central to the interdependent process. Women continued the traditions of vartan bhanji that bound the social fabric of the village together, with the vartan bhanji primarily taking place through the daughter of the house. In the community-managed pattern of resolving disputes, they were also in a key position as married daughters or 'daughters of the village' who linked two households or villages and could mediate in quarrels. These findings countered the prevailing wisdom about women's roles particularly in such a rural, predominantly Muslim setting. The Ecomic Life of a Punjabi Village takes this observation further: Women were central t just to the social relationships of the village culture but also to the village ecomy and to the ecomic well-being of their families. Although many things have w changed, women today still retain their positions as managers of the house and family and social relationships in the village and beyond. It is they who determine what staples are needed-like salt or maize-and when. Some take care of these purchases themselves, going into town if needed. This role remains an active rather than a passive one, and counters the stereotype of Muslim women as submissive or irrelevant as decision makers. An especially interesting aspect of the studies is that Eglar uses human stories to illustrate larger patterns and issues. These volumes will be of value to anthropologists, sociologists, and all readers with a special interest in Pakistan.
- Author BiographyZekiye Eglar attended the American Collegiate Institute where she later taught English, mathematics and manual arts. She obtained her BA from the American College for Girls (later Roberts College) in Istanbul, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1933. After a Masters in Education at Smith College for Women. She got a further grant for a year to study race relations and anthropology at Yale University. Returning to Turkey, she taught psychology and mathematics at the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir for a year, then headed back to America to study anthropology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and then at Columbia University. For the next eight years, taught cultural anthropology at Ankara University. Zekiye Suleyman Eglar died on 29 March 1983.
- Author(s)Zekiya Eglar
- PublisherOUP Pakistan
- Date of Publication29/07/2010
- FormatMultiple copy pack
- SubjectSocial Sciences: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Country of PublicationPakistan
- ImprintOUP Pakistan
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight786 g
- Width147 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine33 mm
- Contained items statement2 Multiple copy packs
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