Caste in Contemporary India  book cover
1st Edition

Caste in Contemporary India

ISBN 9781138822436
Published February 18, 2015 by Routledge India
288 Pages

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Book Description

Caste is a contested terrain in India’s society and polity. This book explores contemporary realities of caste in rural and urban India. Presenting rich empirical findings across north India, it presents an original perspective on the reasons for the persistence of caste in India today.

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction: The Idea of Caste Part 1: Hierarchies and the Politics of Citizenship 1. Pollution and Prejudice: Vestiges of Untouchability in Rural Punjab 2. Atrocities and Resistance: Dalit Assertions for Citizenship 3. Caste and Democratic Politics: A Differentiated View Part 2: Caste in the Neo-Liberal Economy 4. Dalits in Business: Self-Employed Scheduled Castes in Urban India 5. ‘Caste-Blinding’ and Corporate Hiring Part 3: Mobility and Mobilizations 6. Social Mobility and Quest for Autonomy: Global Contours of Ravidasi Identity 7. Battling for Dignity: Dalit Activists of Delhi. Conclusion: The Futures of Caste. Bibliography. About the Author. Index

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Surinder S. Jodhka is Professor of Sociology, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


"Studies of caste in India were frequent and quite comprehensive in the earliest research conducted by social scientists. However, those studies were flawed and somewhat biased. Jodhka’s insightful and thorough work on this important topic brings everything up to date. This is a powerful and important investigation based on solid empirical research. ... For advanced students of South Asia and educated general readers. Summing Up: Essential. Most levels/libraries."

J.J. Preston, Sonoma State University, in CHOICE, September 2015

"This is a very useful book that reflects on the general question of how caste might be theorized and makes available new empirical material on the experience of Dalits in north and northwest India. Those unfamiliar with the Punjab will be introduced to this important region."

Andrew Watt, University of Bristol, Pacific Affairs: Vol. 90, No. 4, December 2017