Lyon, Stephen M.
About the author: Stephen Lyon is currently lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Durham. He has lived and worked in Pakistan over two decades for approximately three years and has conducted anthropological research related to social organization as well as agricultural development.2004 0-7734-6496-4
Asymmetrical power relationships are found throughout Pakistan’s Punjabi and Pukhtun communities. These relationships must be examined as manifestations of cultural continuity rather than as separate structures. The various cultures of Pakistan display certain common cultural features which suggest a re-examination of past analytical divisions of tribe and peasant societies. This book looks at the ways power is expressed, accumulated and maintained in three social contexts: kinship, caste, and political relationships. These are embedded within a collection of ‘hybridising’ cultures. Socialisation within kin groups provides the building blocks for Pakistani asymmetrical relationships, which may be understood as a form of patronage. As these social building blocks are transferred to non-kin contexts, the patron/client aspects are more easily identified and studied. State politics and religion are examined for the ways in which these patron/client roles are enacted on much larger scales but remain embedded within the cultural values underpinning those roles.