Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age / Edition 1

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The phenomenon of caste has probably aroused more controversy than any other aspect of Indian life. This volume explores the emergence of ideas and practices that gave rise to the so-called "caste-society." Using a historical and anthropological approach, the author frames her analysis in the context of India's economic and social order, interpreting caste as a contingent and variable response to changes in India's political landscape through the colonial conquest. The book's wide-ranging analysis offers one of the most powerful statements ever written on caste in South Asia.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An outstanding book and an excellent addition to the New Cambridge History of India." Choice

"[Bayly's] survey of the literature on caste is virtually comprehensive....The book is well documented and would be a good source as a reference work for advanced students of South Asian studies." Religious Studies Review

"Jackson has given us an indispensable interpretation of this era...Any attempt to sort out the questions of caste in modern Indian history would require a widely read scholar who is also brave. Susan Bayly is such a scholar. Bayly has written an excellent, stimulating survey of the history of conception, description,analysis, and influence of the idea and institution of caste and community in modern South Asia. As part of the New Cambridge History of India, it clearly fulfills the editorila mandates of presenting recent scholarship and changing historical conceptions of the modern subcontinent." American His Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521798426
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Series: New Cambridge History of India Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Historical origins of a 'caste society'; 2. The 'Brahman Raj': kings and service people, c. 1700–1830; 3. Western 'Orientalists and the Colonial perception of caste'; 4. Caste and the modern nation: incubus or essence; 5. The everyday experience of caste in Colonial India; 6. Caste debate and the emergence of Gandhian Nationalism; 7. State policy and 'reservations': the politicization of caste-based social welfare goals; 8. Caste in the everyday life of Independent India; 9. 'Caste wars' and the mandate of violence; Conclusion.

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