This anthology is a reprint of perhaps the first ever attempt to put together a number of significant studies, by Indian and foreign scholars, on the urban sociology of India. Some of the papers included here are reproduced from previously published as well as unpublished sources; a few had been specially commissioned for this volume. Two criteria have guided the selection of material: a bias towards empirical investigations rather than mere theoretical discussions; and a concern for sociological analysis. The material is presented in nine parts: Theoretical Problems, Historical Aspects, Demographic and Ecological Aspects, Immigrant Communities and Neighbourhoods, Social Stratification and Mobility, Marriage and Family, Religion, Politics, and Urban Influences on Rural Life. Besides a General Introduction, each part has an introduction and select reading lists have been appended to all the parts.
M.S.A. Rao was Professor of Sociology at the University of Delhi. He taught at London, Syracuse, Pennsylvania, Duke and Virginia universities. He is the author of Social Change in Malabar, Urbanization and Social Change, Tradition, Rationality and Change and Social Movements and Social Transformation; co-author of Cities and Slums; editor of Social Movements in India, Studies in Migration; co-editor of A Reader in Urban Sociology, Food, Society and Culture and Dominance and State Power in Modern India. He was the recipient of the Ghurye Award and the Sarat Chandra Roy Gold Medal.
The present Reader has grown out of my research interests and the course of lectures that I gave at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) on ‘Urbanization in South Asia’ during 1966-67. I thank Professors C. Von Furer Haimendorf and A.C. Mayer for inviting me to spend a year at the School. I prepared the Reader for the press in 1971, and in 1972 I went, as a Visiting Professor, to the Universities of Syracuse and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) where I taught courses on Urbanization in South Asia. This gave me an opportunity to test the arguments developed in the Reader. I thank Professors R.I. Crane of the University of Syracuse and R.D. Lambert of the University of Pennsylvania for inviting me to teach the course.
I am deeply indebted to all the Contributors of the Reader for their kind co-operation in the reproduction of their essays either wholly or in parts. While Drs. S. Patwardhan and Hemalata Acharya kindly consented to prepare articles on the basis of their unpublished works, Dr. Ashish Bose kindly agreed to add a section on ‘Urbanization in 1971’. I owe them my sincere thanks. I acknowledge with gratitude the permission given by various authorities acknowledged separately in this volume, to reprint the contributions included in the Reader.
I am indebted to Professor G.S. Ghurye, my revered teacher, who has inspired a generation of sociologists in urban studies, for the encouragement he gave me in preparing the Reader. He was also kind enough to send me a copy of Dr. Mythili’s (his student) Ph.D. thesis. I am grateful to Professors N.R. Sheth and A.M. Shah, and Dr. B.S. Baviskar for their valuable suggestions in the selection of Readings.
Sri. Chandrashekhar Bhat, Sri. P.M. Chacko, Sri. C.M. Bhatia and Sri. S.M.A. Rizvi-research students of the Department have rendered invaluable help in correcting the typescript and proofs, and I owe them sincere thanks. My thanks are due to Sri. P.D. them sincere thanks. My thanks are also due to Sri. Bachi Rami for preparing the map.
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