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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aging and the Indian Diaspora: Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad

Aging and the Indian Diaspora: Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad, by Sarah Lamb . Volume Eight in the series Tracking Globalization, edited by Robert J. FosterBloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009. 336pp. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 9780253221001.
  1. Sanjoy Mazumdar
  1. University of California, Irvine

How do elderly Indians, particularly urban Bengalis, view aging and family relationships and obligations? How do they deal with their social relationships in their families and with others? How do they see living in old-age homes? In the present day context what adjustments are they compelled to make? How do those who travel or have moved to the United States deal with conditions and life there? Sarah Lamb addresses these issues in her book.

The chapters in this 336-page book are: The Remaking of Aging; The Production of Tradition, Modernity, and a New Middle Class; The Rise of Old Age Homes in India; Becoming an Elder-Abode Member; Tea and the Forest: Making a Western Institution Indian; Living Alone as a Way of Life; Moving Abroad; and Changing Families and the State.

Lamb has produced a very easy to read, engaging, and good book. Noteworthy is the innovative “novel-like” presentation she shines in using to make the interviewees—the characters—come alive. The reader can follow these characters through the book. This captures the reader’s attention. There are numerous charming quotes from the interviewees that give a good flavor of what they think and the variety of opinions they …

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