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Kinship in West Punjab Villages

Contributions to Indian Sociology , Volume 6 (1): 1 – Jan 1, 1972


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1972 by SAGE Publications
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Kinship in West Punjab Villages


Kinship in West Punjab Villages SAGE Publications, Inc.1972DOI: 10.1177/006996677200600101 Hamza A.Alavi UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS Underlying much of the literature on South Asian rural societies is the assumption that these societies are structurally similar, if not identical in every detail, and that the distinguishing feature of the structure of social institutions in those societies is their focus on caste and the related jajmani system as bases of social organization. The kinship system, which is generally accorded a central place in social anthropological analyses is, in this case, relegated to the background. In the Muslim rural society of West Punjab, however, the contrary is true. There it is the kinship system rather than caste which embodies the primodial loyalties which structure its social organization.' . ~ . Biraderi * '.. , . ' ~ . The basic institution of the kinship system of Muslims of West Punjab is the biraderi. For the moment we may translate the word biraderi as brother*This paper is part of a study of peasant classes and primordial loyalties in local-level politics, which was undertaken at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex under a grant from the (U.K.) SSRC. Field research was
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