Social Dynamics in Complex Family Contexts and its Study

  • Nandita Chaudhary


The prevailing patterns of social relationships within a culture are important to consider during research. Since culture is considered as constitutive for individual psyche, the manner in which research tasks are set-up also needs to appraisal in the context of prevailing social networks in any given society. This paper deals with examples of research studies among Asian Indians to describe encounters with participants during research which highlight the importance of considering and incorporating cultural patterns of interaction. Some of the simple ways of engaging with people and ideas can be achieved by keeping intuitive reactions intact and working with participants as partners in and not objects of research. Creating and following mythical rituals (like random sampling, or standardised testing) over and above the personal reality that is critical to meaningful social experiences, provides research with a sacred status; but it also distances science from everyday life, consequently defeating the very purpose for which the efforts have been undertaken.


Familiar Object Person Approach Individual Opinion Indian Family Ground Reality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to acknowledge the contributions made by Prof. Heidi Keller (University of Osnabrueck, Germany) and Prof. Jaan Valsiner (Clark University Worcester, USA) for their perceptive and pertinent reactions to earlier versions of this chapter. These comments helped me to become self-conscious of my occasional imprudence in discussing issues of theory and method.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Childhood Studies, Lady Irwin CollegeUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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