Sociological research on Indian families has largely focused on questions of household form and structure, to the exclusion of t 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.
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.