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Sex and the Family in Colonial India

Sex and the Family in Colonial India
The Making of Empire

$96.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521857048

$ 96.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • In the early years of the British empire, cohabitation between Indian women and British men was commonplace and to some degree tolerated. However, as Durba Ghosh argues in a challenge to the existing historiography, anxieties about social status, appropriate sexuality, and the question of who could be counted as 'British' or 'Indian' were constant concerns of the colonial government even at this time. By following the stories of a number of mixed-race families, at all levels of the social scale, from high-ranking officials and noblewomen to rank-and-file soldiers and camp followers, and also the activities of indigenous female concubines, mistresses and wives, the author offers a fascinating account of how gender, class and race affected the cultural, social and even political mores of the period. The book makes an original and signal contribution to scholarship on colonialism, gender and sexuality.

    • A major contribution to the study of empire and gender
    • Addresses a neglected period in Indian women's history
    • Will appeal to a wide range of scholars and students in Indian history, British colonialism, gender studies, sociology, and cultural studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The book is a critical intervention in the historiography of early colonial India, addresses an overlook chapter in the history of South Asian families, and challenges previous assumptions about the development of racialized ideologies in the British empire." -Mytheli Sreenivas, Journal of Sociology of the Family

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521857048
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Introduction
    1. Colonial companions
    2. Residing with begums: William Palmer, James Achilles Kirkpatrick and their 'wives'
    3. Good patriarchs, uncommon families
    4. Native women, native lives
    5. Household order and colonial justice
    6. Servicing military families: family labour, pensions and orphans
    Conclusion
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Durba Ghosh, Cornell University, New York
    Durba Ghosh is Assistant Professor in History at Cornell University. She has co-edited, with Dane Kennedy, Decentering Empire: Britain, India and the Transcolonial World (2006).

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