This book explores the structural features of Indian society, such as caste, tribe, sect, rural-urban relations, Sanskritization and untouchability. Based on a wealth of field research as well as archival material, the book
This second edition, with four new chapters, will be a key text for students and scholars of sociology, social anthropology, political science, modern history, development studies, and South Asian studies.
"This book forces its reader to revisit the Indian society as it exists today… [it] comes as a fresh guide for young sociologists in understanding the Indian social structure in a refreshing and befitting academic framework." — Rajesh Gill, Sociological Bulletin
"Shah’s articles open up some less trodden paths in the study of India." — Sirpa Tenhunen, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Introduction 1. Caste in the 21st Century: From System to Elements 2. Purity, Impurity, Untouchability: Then and Now 3. Sanskritization Revisited 4. Sects and Hindu Social Structure 5. The Rural–Urban Networks in India 6. The ‘Dalit’ Category and Its Differentiation 7. Can the Caste Census be Reliable? 8. Division and Hierarchy: An Overview of Caste in Gujarat 9. Untouchability, the Untouchables and Social Change in Gujarat 10. The Tribes — So-called — of Gujarat: In the Perspective of Time 11. The Mirage of a Caste-less Society in India 12. A Government Programme to Train Scheduled Caste Priests 13. The Village in the City, the City in the Village 14. Myths, Rural and Urban