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

  • Interrogates the prevailing thinking in Indian sociology on these structures;
  • Studies Indian society from contemporary as well as historical perspectives;
  • Analyses caste divisions vis-à-vis caste hierarchy;
  • Critically examines the public policies regarding caste-less society, reservations for Backward Classes, and the caste census.

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.

chapter |25 pages


chapter 1|18 pages

Caste in the 21st Century

From System to Elements*

chapter 2|13 pages

Purity, Impurity, Untouchability

Then and Now*

chapter 3|11 pages

Sanskritization Revisited*

chapter 4|33 pages

Sects and Hindu Social Structure*

chapter 5|26 pages

The Rural–Urban Networks in India*

chapter 7|3 pages

Can the Caste Census be Reliable?*

chapter 8|30 pages

Division and Hierarchy

An Overview of Caste in Gujarat*

chapter 10|8 pages

The Tribes — So-Called — of Gujarat

In the Perspective of Time*

chapter 11|11 pages

The Mirage of a Casteless Society in India*

chapter 14|4 pages

Myths, Rural and Urban