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This book presents an incisive analysis of social formations in present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala from pre-historic times to early medieval period. It examines the transformation from agro-pastoral to agrarian social formation by exploring areas like economy, technology, and historicalprocesses of state formation. The volume specially focuses on the transition from clan and lineage to hereditary occupations of caste, and the social implications of the spread of writing. It also discusses the structural and institutional features of the new social formation. The Introductionprovides a conceptual backdrop to the term 'social formation' and reviews the major debates surrounding social change in south India.This book will be of considerable interest to students, scholars, and teachers of ancient and medieval history, archaeology, and sociology, particularly those concerned with south India.
Rajan Gurukkal is the Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala. Previously, he served as Professor and Director, School of Social Sciences, at the same university.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Conceptual Preliminaries
Section I: Historiography and Method
1. Early Social Formations: A Historiographic Review
2. The Course of Social Historiography of Kerala
3. Semiotics of Ancient Tamil Poetics: A Methodological Consideration
Section II: Early Social Formations
4. Prehistoric Life in the Southern Western Ghats: Interpreting Rock-art
5. Tribes, Forest, and Social Formation in Early South India
6. Forms of Production and Forces of Change in Ancient Tamil Society
7. Early Iron Age Economy: Problems of Agrarian Expansion in Tamilakam
8. Writing, Literacy, and Social Formations in the Tamil South
9. Towards a New Discourse: Discursive Processes in Early South India
Section III: Social Transformations
10. Social Formation from the Ancient to Early Medieval
11. Historical Antecedents of the State Formation in the Deep South
12. Aspects of Great Transformation in Ancient Kerala
13. From Clan and Lineage to Hereditary Occupations and Caste
14. Spread of Writing in the Tamil South and Its Social Implications
Section IV: The New Social Formation
15. Temples as Sites of the New Social Formation
16. The Formation of Caste Society in Kerala: Historical Antecedents
17. Aspects of the Reservoir System of Irrigation in the P?n?ya Country