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CASTE IN QUESTION: IDENTITY OF HIERARCHY ? (hb)2004
Author: R . N . GUPTA
ISBN: 0761933247
Year: 2004
Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED
Category: SOCIOLOGY
Edition: 1
Format: Hard Cover
Language: English
Pages: 255
 ABOUT THE TITLE
This volume offers a new understanding of caste in contemporary India. It argues that the traditional view of caste - as a single hierarchy, with Brahmans at the top and the untouchable castes at the bottom - is no longer valid.

Based on fieldwork, the articles in this volume prove that ritual dominance does not determine the nature of caste interactions in any way. From politics to gender to economic interaction, the single, pure hierarchy is constantly being questioned and weakened. Castes that once had the status of shudras are now claiming, on occasions, a position superior to Brahmans and Kshatriyas; agrarian castes - such as Jats, Ahirs and Gujars - are at the political forefront, taking caste identities outside the village; the once passive untouchable castes are now aggressive and militant, and aware of their rights in a democratic society.

This exciting collection of original articles demonstrates how caste identity today challenges the outdated notion of a single, all-encompassing hierarchy, within which each caste co-exists peacefully.
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 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction : the certitudes of caste : when identity trumps hierarchy
1 Caste panchayats and the policing of marriage in Haryana : enforcing kinship and territorial exogamy 1
2 'We (Yadavs) are a caste of politicians' : caste and modern politics in a North Indian town 43
3 Jains, caste and hierarchy in North Gujarat 73
4 Hierarchy, difference and the caste system : a study of rural Bihar 113
5 Replication or dissent? : culture and institutions among 'untouchable' scheduled castes in Karnataka 137
6 Sikhism and the caste question : Dalits and their politics in contemporary Punjab 165
7 Inventing caste history : Dalit mobilisation and nationalist past 193
8 'The Bedias are Rajputs' : caste consciousness of marginal community 221
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