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Hybrid identities: 'Public' and 'private' life in the courtyard houses of Barabazaar, Kolkata, India

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin Beattie


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This study surveys four courtyard houses owned by three families in Barabazaar, Kolkata. I begin by outlining how nineteenth century Bengali modernity negotiated the distinction between ‘private’, and ‘public’ life, in re-constituting itself within a world shaped by colonialism. Next, I explain the primary precedent for the case studies, namely, Nabakrishna Deb’s complex of houses in Shobhabazaar. After describing the social organisation of the courtyard house, it is the distinction between ‘private’ living and ‘public’ ritual/work space that is explored more fully in the case studies. I conclude by reflecting on the changing and contradictory distinction between ‘private’ and ‘public’ life, and on a Bengali modernity that is still being negotiated today.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beattie M

Editor(s): Menin, S.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Constructing Place: Mind and the Matter of Place-making

Year: 2003

Pages: 154-165

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: London, UK

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780415314664