The Auspicious Heart: Influence, Productivity, and Coherence

  • Usha Menon
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter presents a cultural model of wellbeing framed in terms of indigenous meanings that have salience in the temple town. The three measures that constitute wellbeing are the following: having control over one’s own activities and influence over others, being centrally involved in the household’s productive and distributive activities, and possessing psychological and moral coherence. The model implies that access to wellbeing is centrally linked to family role occupied; therefore, the experience of wellbeing shifts across the life course, being low in young adulthood, peaking in mature adulthood, and declining in old age. This connection between family role and access to wellbeing is best exemplified by the lack of wellbeing experienced by widows and married daughters who have returned permanently to their father’s homes—women who are cultural anomalies because they are not associated with any particular family role. The chapter also acknowledges that lived experience does not necessarily match the cultural model: even within a sample of just 37 women, there is intra-cultural variability with young adult women claiming to enjoy substantial wellbeing, while mature adult women claim not to.

Keywords

Married Woman Mature Adulthood Family Role Married Daughter Substantial Wellbeing 
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.

References

  1. Brown, J. K., & Kerns, V. (Eds.). (1985). In her prime: A new view of middle-aged women. South Hadley: Bergin and Harvey.Google Scholar
  2. D’Andrade, R., & Strauss, C. (Eds.). (1992). Human motives and cultural models. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Inden, R. B., & Nicholas, R. W. (1977). Kinship in Bengali culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Kondos, V. (1989). Subjection and domicile: Some problematic issues relating to high caste Nepalese women. In J. N. Gray & D. J. Mearns (Eds.), Society from the inside out. New Delhi: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Lamb, S. (1993). Growing in the net of Maya. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  6. Lamb, S. (2000). White saris, sweet mangoes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Madan, T. N. (1987). Non-renunciation. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Marriott, M. (1976). Hindu transactions: Diversity without dualism. In B. Kapferer (Ed.), Transaction and meaning: Directions in the anthropology of exchange and symbolic behavior (pp. 109–142). Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues.Google Scholar
  9. Marriott, M. (1990). India through Hindu categories. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Marriott, M. (2003). Varna and jati. In G. R. Thursby & S. Mittal (Eds.), The Hindu world (pp. 357–382). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Minturn, L. (1993). Sita’s daughters: Coming out of Purdah. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Raheja, G. (1988). The poison in the gift. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Vatuk, S. (1990). “To be a burden on others”: Dependency anxiety among the elderly in India. In O. M. Lynch (Ed.), Divine passions: The social construction of emotion in India (pp. 64–88). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Usha Menon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Culture and CommunicationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations