Catalogue


Caste, society and politics in India from the eighteenth century to the modern age [electronic resource] /
Susan Bayly.
imprint
New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
description
xi, 421 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521264340 (hb)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
isbn
0521264340 (hb)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8901733
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 388-412) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-03:
Bayly (Cambridge Univ.) has written an ambitious and unusually successful interdisciplinary study of the cultural meanings, social practices, and political consequences of caste in India from 1700 to the present. She provides a valuable synthesis of diverse theoretical interpretations of caste, ranging from Dumont's structuralism to the views of historians of the subaltern school. Her analysis carefully balances the roles of "orientalists," as well as other representatives of the British imperial enterprise, with the influences of the indigenous population, including both precolonial and postdependence political leaders, in constructions and modifications of the meanings and uses of caste over time. By incorporating both ideological and material elements into her analysis, Bayly eschews a static and homogenizing structural approach. She emphasizes instead the necessity for a particularistic understanding of the different factors that have affected the content and interpretation of caste in different settings and historical circumstances. An outstanding book and an excellent addition to the New Cambridge History of India. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Tavakolian; Denison University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"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
'Susan Bayley deserves praise for attempting to explain how caste in India has come to mean what it does today. Her analysis covers almost the entire Indian subcontinent, something which today is a rarity, given the current trend of ever more narrowly focused studies.' The Journal of Peasant Studies
'The book is extraordinary in the diversity of themes that it handles and the chronological span it covers. ... What emerges is an extraordinarily nuanced understanding of caste that satisfies the historian and provokes the social anthropologist.' Dr Seema Alavi, The Book 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
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2000
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Susan Bayly's analysis explores the emergence of the ideas, experiences and practices which gave rise to the so-called caste society from the pre-colonial period to the end of the twentieth century.
Main Description
The phenomenon of caste has probably aroused more controversy than any other aspect of Indian life and thought. Susan Bayly's cogent and sophisticated analysis explores the emergence of the ideas, experiences and practices which gave rise to the so-called 'caste society' from the pre-colonial period to the end of the twentieth century. Using an historical and anthropological approach, she frames her analysis within the context of India's dynamic economic and social order, interpreting caste not as an essence of Indian culture and civilization, but rather as a contingent and variable response to the changes that occurred in the subcontinent's political landscape through the colonial conquest. The idea of caste in relation to Western and Indian 'orientalist' thought is also explored.
Description for Bookstore
Adopting an historical and anthropological approach, the book seeks to account for the development and persistence of India's caste system over 350 years. Unlike many studies of the subject which are highly polemical or too technical for non-specialists, this volume is intended for a student and general market.
Description for Bookstore
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 which gave rise to the so-called 'caste-society'. Using an 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.
Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Historical origins of a 'caste society'
The 'Brahman Raj': kings and service people, c. 1700'"1830
Western 'Orientalists and the Colonial perception of caste'
Caste and the modern nation: incubus or essence
The everyday experience of caste in Colonial India
Caste debate and the emergence of Gandhian Nationalism
State policy and 'reservations': the politicization of caste-based social welfare goals
Caste in the everyday life of Independent India
'Caste wars' and the mandate of violence
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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