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Recasting Caste
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Recasting Caste
From the Sacred to the Profane

Critical Acclaim


© 2014 | 308 pages | SAGE India
Recasting Caste confronts the mainstream sociology of caste at its root: Louis Dumont’s Homo Hierarchicus and its main source, Max Weber’s distinction between class and status. Conventional wisdom on caste is idealist, and most students of the subject therefore exaggerate ritual homogeneity and deflect attention from intracaste differentiation and inequality. In contrast, by focusing on intracaste differences, Professor Singh demonstrates that caste hierarchy is grounded in a monopoly of land rights and political power supported by religious and secular ideology. Drawing on the sociological, anthropological and historical literature, as well as primary sources, Recasting Caste refutes the widespread claim that, in India, caste consciousness always trumps class consciousness. It questions the twin myths that caste is a product of Hinduism and that caste is essential to the survival of Hinduism. It thereby reorients the entire field of study.

 
Preface: Growing up in Caste, Studying Caste—A Personal and Professional Story
 
Introduction
 
Studying Caste: Ideas, Material Conditions and History
 
Priest and Prince: Status–Power Muddle
 
Varna to Caste: Religious and Economic-Political
 
Caste and Subaltern Studies: Elite Ideology, Revisionist Historiography
 
Inequalities between and within Castes: Kin, Caste and Land
 
Changing Land Relations and Caste: View from a Village
 
Indenture, Religion and Caste: The Twin Myths about Hinduism and Caste
 
Appendices
 
Glossary
 
Bibliography
 
Index

The book will appeal to anyone who is interested in understanding the highly complex phenomenon of caste and is prepared to go beyond the “sacred” and look for its “profane” dimensions.... Its greatest contribution is that it engages with and historicises caste.

Frontline, 7 August 2015

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Hira Singh

Hira Singh teaches Sociology at York University, Toronto. He taught Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He also taught Sociology at various other universities in Canada like Wilfrid Laurier, Victoria and University of New Brunswick. A participant of the debate on ‘Feudalism in Pre-colonial, Non-European Societies’, sponsored by the Journal of Peasant Studies, his previous publications include Colonial Hegemony and Popular Resistance: Princes, Peasants, and Paramount Power and essays in prominent journals. More About Author

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ISBN: 9788132113461
₹895.00