This volume presents a set of readings which primarily focus on the social, political and cultural aspects of village life. A few readings discuss issues of agrarian change and the economy of rural India. A comprehensive introduction provides a detailed historical analysis of the study of rural India, the changes in rural social life, and the forces shaping life in villages today. The articles, drawn from writings over four decades (1972 to 2010), cover various features of village society: caste and community, land and labour, migration, discrimination and use of common property resources, among others. The volume will be a single reference point for some of the best published works in the field.