The Gift of a Bride
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The Gift of a Bride : A Tale of Anthropology, Matrimony and Murder

3.53 (30 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This ethnographically based murder mystery, set in an Indian immigrant community in New York City, uses the main principles of cultural anthropology and ethnographic method to explore a wide range of cultural conflicts. Central themes of gender inequality, violence against women, and immigrant adaptation to American life are revealed through authentically drawn characters and a tightly woven plot. Power-driven egos, workplace harassment, hostile neighbors, and financial desperation drive the suspense in this exciting novel.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 453.59g
  • AltaMira Press,U.S.
  • California, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0759111499
  • 9780759111493

About Serena Nanda

Serena Nanda is professor emeritus of anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Joan Gregg is professor emeritus of English at New York City Technical College, CUNY.show more

Review quote

Let me start by saying that I loved the manuscript and would most certainly use it in a class of cultural anthropology. I would also use it in my gender class as well. The authors have written a remarkable work. It works on so many levels that it is hard to adequately express my enthusiasm. The book has many strengths. It presents the field of anthropology in a careful, useful, and interesting manner. Using fictitious classroom presentations, lectures and discussion, as a way of introducing materials and subject matter of the book, is excellent. Having a murder plot unfold in multiple ways, with a constant eye on multiple cultural dimensions is also excellent. Keeping the plot line alive, exciting and to the point, continues this excellence. The authors have mastered the art of story telling, plot advancement, readability and line continuity. I literally could not put it down. It can truthfully be described as a page turner. It is refreshingly unique, creative, interesting and captivating. In anthropology, in this day and age, that is remarkable. -- Barbara Joans, Merritt College This fictional ethnography of Indian marital beliefs and customs paints a strong contrast between American notions of individual choice and freedom of decisions versus the strong web of social and familial obligations to which Indians must attend. The reader is exposed to an intense level of Indian extended family involvement in and concern about marital decisions and woes, which stands in strong contrast to American notions of the marital relationship being a private affair between partners. Association for Feminist Anthropologyshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Marrying Off Amrita: Arranging a Marriage Chapter 2 Anthro 223. Sex and Culture: Culture Counts Chapter 3 Sita's Trials: The Concept of Gender Part 4 An Act of Violence 1: A Life in Ruins Chapter 5 Student Voices Part 6 An Act of Violence 2: A Halloween Assault Chapter 7 We Also Do More Takeout: Cultural Adaptation Chapter 8 Invitation to a Wedding: Key Consultants Chapter 9 Appearances are Deceiving: An Anthropologist in the Field Chapter 10 Eating an Orange: Culture Is In the Details Chapter 11 Status Signals: Social Status and Cultural Values Chapter 12 The Gift of a Bride: A Wedding Ritual Chapter 13 Home Again, Home Again: More Notes for the Book Chapter 14 Daughter in a Distant Land: Immigrating to America Chapter 15 Hey, This is America: Married Life Chapter 16 Those Close Indian Families: The Extended Family Chapter 17 The Washerman's Donkey: Between Two Cultures Chapter 18 Kumar's Deception: Mishandling Relationships Chapter 19 The Lycra Revolution: Clothing Sends a Message Chapter 20 A Mother-in-Law's Comforts: An Indian Matriarch Chapter 21 An Open and Shut Case: Crime and Culture Chapter 22 I Have Some Information: Engaged Anthropology Chapter 23 A Dinner Party is also Research: The Ethics of Participant Observation Chapter 24 Don't Play Nancy Drew: Applying Anthropology Chapter 25 The Wrong Girl for our Family: Marriage as an Exchange Chapter 26 This Nightmare Must Be Ended: The Oppression of the Bride Chapter 27 The Demon King: The Anthropologist's Dilemma Part 28 An Act of Violence 3: You Tiny Dolls Chapter 29 A Better Mousetrap Called Murder: The Cultural Contours of Marriage and Divorce Chapter 30 Death of a Beautiful Lady: Anthropology is Personal Chapter 31 The Usual Suspect: Male Dominance and Domestic Violence Chapter 32 The Investigation: Applying Anthropology Chapter 33 Nothing Further to Say: Kinship Relations Part 34 Culture and Criminal Caught: Culture and American Criminal Justice Part 35 Epilogue Part 36 Author's Note Part 37 Glossary 38 Sourcesshow more

Rating details

30 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 20% (6)
4 27% (8)
3 43% (13)
2 7% (2)
1 3% (1)
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