INTERROGATING CASTE DIPANKAR GUPTA PDF

The caste system has conventionally been perceived by scholars as a hierarchy based on the binary opposition of purity and pollution. Challenging this position, leading sociologist Dipankar Gupta argues that any notion of a fixed hierarchy is arbitrary and valid only from the perspective of the individual castes. The idea of difference, and not hierarchy, determines the tendency of each caste to keep alive its discrete nature and this is also seen to be true of the various castes which occupy the same rank in the hierarchy. It is, in fact, the mechanics of power, both economic and political, that set the ground rules for caste behaviour, which also explains how traditionally opposed caste groups find it possible to align in the contemporary political scenario.

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Dipankar Gupta. The caste system has conventionally been perceived by scholars as a hierarchy based on the binary opposition of purity and pollution.

Challenging this position, leading sociologist Dipankar Gupta argues that any notion of a fixed hierarchy is arbitrary and valid only from the perspective of the individual castes. The idea of difference, and not hierarchy, determines the tendency of each caste to keep alive its discrete nature and this is also seen to be true of the various castes which occupy the same rank in the hierarchy.

It is, in fact, the mechanics of power, both economic and political, that set the ground rules for caste behaviour, which also explains how traditionally opposed caste groups find it possible to align in the contemporary political scenario. With the help of empirical evidence from states like Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the author illustrates how any presumed correlations between caste loyalties and voting patterns are in reality quite invalid.

Provocative and finely argued, Interrogating Caste is a remarkable work that provides fresh insight into caste as a social, political and economic reality. Continuous Hierarchies and Discrete Castes. Divergent Logics of Mobilization.

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Book review: Dipankar Gupta's 'Interrogating Caste'

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Interrogating Caste: Understanding Hierarchy and Difference in Indian Society

Jump to navigation. It will draw attention, however, for its claim to formulate an alternative theory of caste in India. This thesis does merit consideration. At the centre of the book is one basic question: is there a single universally accepted caste hierarchy that unites all those who belong to the caste system? Gupta's response to this question is in the negative and he believes that to argue otherwise would be a gross misreading of facts.

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