The Vanishing Indian Upper Class: Life History of Raza Mohammed Khan (Hardcover)

The Vanishing Indian Upper Class: Life History of Raza Mohammed Khan Cover Image

The Vanishing Indian Upper Class: Life History of Raza Mohammed Khan (Hardcover)


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The Vanishing Indian Upper Class is a story necessary to the life, the times and the action as told and provides a basic narrative tension by what I refer to as an ethnographic excavation, because it begins to answer the basic question of how the story extend beyond the life history of one person. Sociologist Howard Becker considering the situation of the life history document in sociology stressed the "importance of presenting the actors subjective situation of the person's experiences and on "giving context in which he undergoes his social experiences." Becker recognized life history data as an important source for theory and a "means of testing concepts." In this way life history data seen as material offering basic evidence about social interaction and process because it "offers a vivid telling of what it means to be a certain kind of person."

This book concerns issues of gender, the role of women, inheritance, male privilege, ruling elites, marriage, the caste system, poverty, greed and familial betrayal.The idea of betrayal-one of the central tenets of the human condition-is much on display in this text. At the core of the book is a fundamental question: to what extent does the chicanery involving a family inheritance tell a much larger story about modern Indian culture from the perspective of an Indian Muslim and the nation as a whole.

The story is about the family of Raza Muhammad Khan and its legacy of honor, compassion, love, sacrifice, betrayal and dividing up land. This is an engaging family history intertwined with the story of one person's life and memories. As interlocutor I know a true-life history involves more than conversations and the material here provides other forms of personal documentations: letters, e-mails, photographs, illustrations, notes, poems, stories and accounts written by different family members, limited life histories, autobiographical accounts, and court records all as a source of knowledge. Oscar Lewis related similar sentiments when he wrote about The Sanchez Family in Mexico and sociologists William Thomas and Florian Znaniecki's did the same in The Polish Peasant in Europe and America.

The most important early life history documents in sociology William Thomas and Florian Znaniecski. (1918). The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. University of Chicago, which was part of the early Chicago School tradition. Psychologist Gordon Allport argued that of the three main forms of life history writing: the comprehensive; the topical; the edited, with the former being the most difficult to pull off. And there are many studies of significance purported to be life histories. Clifford Shaw. (1930). The Jack Roller. University of Chicago Press; Edwin Sutherland. (1937) The Professional Thief. University of Chicago Press; The best life histories in the social science tradition; Oscar Lewis. (1963) The Sanchez Family. Vintage Books; Theodore Rosengarten. (1974) All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw. University of Chicago Press; Sidney Mintz. (1974) Cane Worker: The Life of a Puerto Rican. W.W. Norton Company; Leo Simmons. (1970) Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian. Yale University Press.

Product Details ISBN: 9781785274435
ISBN-10: 1785274430
Publisher: Anthem Press
Publication Date: October 30th, 2020
Pages: 360
Language: English