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Community Structure in West Bengal

Morton Klass
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 74, No. 3 (Jun., 1972), pp. 601-610
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/671537
Page Count: 10
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Community Structure in West Bengal
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Abstract

The intent of this paper is to determine the most meaningful and useful model of community for the purpose of anthropological research in India. Redfield's "little community" approach is assessed first, and it is argued that this is a limiting one for India, whatever its applicability elsewhere in the world. Arensberg's approach to community as a minimal unit of organization and transmission of culture is next considered. Utilizing this concept, a model of community is then constructed. It exhibits five structural elements, of which "village" is only one. Once the ethnographer is freed from the necessity of viewing the village alone as a "little community" he may find it more possible to study, with equal facility, all the rubrics and institutions of anthropological interest.

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