The Third Volume in the series Communication Processes engages in understanding processes of communication in relation to cultural configurations and contending forces that permeate them. This volume is positioned at the interface of culture and communication—exploring ways in which interaction, negotiations, and even conflicts are voiced. It re-examines our conception of culture to show that communities cannot be divided into polarities such as ‘elite and popular’ or ‘dominant and subaltern’—establishing that such clear divisions cannot exist in society. Culture is therefore perceived as a field of contending forces: a milieu of exchange, encounter, confrontation, and possibly conflict.
Chapter 7: Grindmill Songs: A Reference of Autonomous Self-Insight
Grindmill Songs: A Reference of Autonomous Self-Insight
‘One Should Talk with the Mill’
The age-old women's tradition of grindmill songs has proved down the centuries to be a privileged means of self-expression and communication for Indian peasant women. These songs were sung on the millstone at dawn by illiterate women while sitting and facing each other in a dark corner of the farmhouse, apart from men still asleep and more or less indifferent to melodies of housewives. They stand as a particularly significant emblem of cultural creativity and a striking form of traditional communication (Poitevin and Rairkar 1996: 113–37). Gender does not merely stand in that folk tradition as synonym to such sociological concepts as biological and social reproduction, division ...