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A Disappearing Institution, An Invention, or an Ongoing Aspect? (Essay Sample)

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Suggested readings: Purity and impurity: Dumont and his critics * Dumont,L. 1980 Homo Hierarchicus: the caste system and its implications. Chicago: Chicago University press. Chapters: Introduction, 2 and 3 *Appadurai, A. 1986. Is homo hierarchicus? American Ethnologist 13 (4) 745-62 Barnett, S., Fruzzetti, L. and Oster, A. 1976. Hierarchy Purified: Notes on Dumont and His Critics. Journal of Asian Studies 35, 627-46. * Berreman. 1971. The Brahmanical View of Caste. Contributions to Indian Sociology (N.S.) 5, 16-23. * Burghart, R. 1990 Ethnographers and their local counterparts in India. In Localising strategies; regional traditions of ethnographic writing (ed. R.Fardon) Edinburgh, Scottish Academic press, 260-78, Das, V. 1995 Critical Events: anthropological perspectives on contemporary India, Delhi: OUP (Chapter 1 The anthropological discourse on India: reason and its Other). Khare, R. S. Cultural diversity and social discontent : anthropological studies on contemporary India. Delhi : Sage Publications. Mencher, J. 1974. The Caste System Upside Down, or the Not-so Mysterious East. Current Anthropology 15, 469-93. Parry, J. 1991. The Hindu lexicographer? A note on auspiciousness and purity Contributions to Indian Sociology 25 (2) 267-285. Ethnosociological approaches to caste Barnett, S. 1977. Identity, Choice and Caste Ideology in Contemporary South India. In David (ed.) 1977. The New Wind: Changing Identities in South Asia. The Hague/ Paris: Mouton. Babb, L. 1990. ‘Social Science Inside Out', in Contributions to Indian Sociology, 24 (2): 201-213 Daniel EV. 1984. Fluid Signs: being a person the Tamil way. Berkeley: University of California Press * Marriott McKim & Inden, R. 1976. ‘Toward an ethnosociology of South Asian caste systems', in (ed) K David, The New Wind, Mouton, Hague/Paris. Marriott McKim (ed). 1990. Chapter 1: ‘Constructing an Indian ethnosociology'. In India through Hindu categories, Sage Publications: New Delhi. Also available in Contributions to Indian Sociology January 1989; 23 (1). See also the debate that followed in the June 1990 issue of Contributions to Indian Sociology 24 (2) Mines, Diane 2005. Fierce gods: Inequality, ritual, and the politics of dignity in a South Indian village. Indiana University Press Hocartian approaches: kingship and theories of caste * Burghart, R 1978. Hierarchical models of the Hindu social system. Man 13 (4): 519-536 * Dirks, N.B. 1990. The original caste: power, history and hierarchy in South Asia. In India through Hindu categories (ed) M.Marriott. New Delhi: Sage. (Also in Contribution to Indian Sociology. 1989 vol 23: 59-78) Dirks, N. 1987. The hollow crown: ethnohistory of an Indian kingdom. Cambridge: Univ. Press. Hocart, A.M. 1950. Caste: a Comparative Study. London: Methuen. (A classic alternative to Dumont's theory; a theory of caste and kingship) McGilvray, D.B. 1982. Mukkuvar Vannimai: Tamil Caste and Matriclan Ideology in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. In McGilvray (ed.) Caste ideology and Interaction. Cambridge: Univ. Press. Price, P.G. 1996. Kingship and political practice in colonial India. Cambridge University Press Quigley, D. 1993. The interpretation of caste. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Raheja, G.G 1988. India: caste, kingship and dominance reconsidered. Annual Review of Anthropology 17: 497-522 (A helpful review of the literature on caste and kingship) The caste and orientalism debate Cohn, B. 1987. The census, social structure and objectification. In An anthropologist among historians and other essays. Oxford University Press (ch.7) Dirks, N. B.2001. Castes of mind: colonialism and the making of modern India. Princeton: Princeton University Press. * Dirks, N.B. 1989. The invention of caste: civil society in colonial India. Social Analysis. 25, 42-52 (the extension of an argument made in the opening pages of Dirk's The Hollow Crown, p 3-10) Dirks, N.B. 1997. The Policing of tradition: colonialism and anthropology in India, Comparative Studies in Society and History. 39 (1) 182-212 Inden, Ronald 1990 Imagining India. Oxford: Basil Blackwell [Chapter 2]. Quigley, D. 1997 Deconstructing colonial fictions? Some conjuring tricks in the recent sociology of India. In (eds) A.James, J.Hockey & A.Dawson. After Writing Culture: epistemology and praxis in contemporary anthropology. London: Routledge. O'Hanlon,R. & Washbrook, D. 1992. After Orientalism: culture, criticism and politics in the Third World. Comparative Studies in Society and History 34:141-167. Raheja, G. 1996. Caste, colonialism and the speech of the colonised: entextualisation and disciplinary control in India. American Ethnologist 23 (3) 494-513 Other historical and contemporary perspectives on caste Bayly, Susan 1999. Caste, society and politics in India from the 18th century to the modern age. Cambridge: University Press. Deshpande, Ashwini 2011. The Grammar of Caste: Economic Disrimination in Contemporary India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Damodaran, Harish. 2008. India's new capitalists: caste, business and industry in a modern nation. Delhi: Permanent Black. * Fuller, C.J (ed.) Caste today. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Fuller, C.J. and Spencer,J. 1990. South Asian anthropology in the 1980s. South Asia Research 10 (2) Gough, K. 1989. Rural change in southeast India. Oxford University Press (Part 1) Gupta, D. 2001. Interrogating Caste: understanding hierarchy and difference in Indian society. India: Penguin. Gupta, D. (ed) 2004. Caste in Question: Identity or Hierarchy? New Delhi ; Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Gupta, D. 2005. “Caste and Politics: Identity over System.” Annual Review of Anthropology, 34: 409-27 Parish, Steven M. 1996. Hierarchy and its discontents : culture and the politics of consciousness in caste society. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press. Quigley, Declan 1994. Is a theory of caste still possible. In Searl-Chatterjee, Mary & Ursula Sharma. Contextualising caste: post-Dumontian approaches. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Quigley, D & Gellner, D. (Ed.) 1995. Contested hierarchies: a collaborative ethnography of caste in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Osella, Filippo & Caroline Osella 2000. Social mobility in Kerala: Modernity and identity in conflict. London: Pluto Press. (Pages 1-16, Rao, Anumpama. 2003. Gender and Caste. Issues in Contemporary Indian Feminism. London: Zed *Searl-Chatterjee, Mary & Ursula Sharma. 1994. Contextualising caste: post-Dumontian approaches. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Seneviratne, H.L. (ed.) 1997. Identity, consciousness and the past: forging of caste and community in India and Sri Lanka. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Srinivas, M.N. (ed.) 1996. Caste: its twentieth century avatar. Viking, Penguin India Thorat, S. & K.Newman (eds) 2010. Blocked by caste: economic discrimination in modern India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. (also EPW special issue October 13, 2007) source..
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Caste System:
A Disappearing Institution, An Invention, or an Ongoing Aspect?
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Caste System:
A Disappearing Institution, An Invention, or an Ongoing Aspect?
Introduction
The caste system is perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of the history of human civilization. Indeed, both a picture of power and exploitation, it showed man`s capabilities at his best, and at his worst. The caste system is a complex and elaborate structure that involves a series of societal factors of stratification, especially including social class, hierarchy, power, hereditary transmission, and even endogamy CITATION Coh87 \l 1033 (Cohn, 1987). In its most basic sense, the caste system involves, but is not limited to, the societal hierarchies that dictate a person`s standing in the society based on lineage, race, social status, and several other factors CITATION Dir89 \l 1033 (Dirks N. , The invention of caste: civil society in colonial India, 1989). Another author added that caste is a type of closed social stratification where the person`s membership to the different strata or hierarchies is determined by his/her birth, where a child is automatically a member of the caste to which his parents belong CITATION Hav10 \l 1033 (Haviland, 2010).
Caste in itself involves different kinds or forms, and one geographical area may have one form of caste system that is different to that in other continents or regions. For example, in China, the caste system involves the division of the society into four classes based on social status (i.e. nobles and commoners), while in the Arabian Peninsula, people were divided according to their occupation or area of settlement (i.e. nomads and villagers). However one of the most widespread examples of the caste system is that of South Asia, specifically India. In the Indian Caste system, individuals were stratified according to their birth, wherein priests occupied the highest levels as Brahmins, followed by the warriors (Kshatriyas), the entrepreneurs or men of commerce (Vaishyas), and by the workmen or the Shudras CITATION Bai63 \l 1033 (Bailey, 1963). This system of stratification in India is among those most controversial and most well-studied.
Although religion has sometimes been pointed to as a reason for the existence of caste, especially in the case of India, several other factors come into play CITATION Ger72 \l 1033 (Berreman G. D., 1972). Because of these various factors, a question has risen over the years regarding the continued existence of the caste system in today`s society, and even regarding its actual existence in the past. In fact, this question may be viewed based on the fact that the caste system was viewed, in the earlier days of the society, as a form of tradition that had to be upheld.
In relation, this paper would then look into these raised issues and questions. More specifically, this paper...
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