Caste is a contested terrain in India’s society and polity. This book explores contemporary realities of caste in rural and urban India. It examines questions of untouchability, citizenship, social mobility, democratic politics, corporate hiring and Dalit activism. Using rich empirical evidence from the field across Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and other parts of north India, this volume presents the reasons for the persistence of caste in India from a new perspective. The book offers an original theoretical framework for comparative understandings of the entrenched social differences, discrimination, inequalities, stratification, and the modes and patterns of their reproduction.
This second edition, with a new Introduction, delves into why caste continues to matter and how caste-based divisions often tend to overlap with the emergent disparities of the new economy. A delicate balance of lived experience and hard facts, this persuasive work will serve as essential reading for students and teachers of sociology and social anthropology, social exclusion and discrimination studies, political science, development studies and public policy.