Foundations in Critical Caste Studies, Part I – Introduction


1. Phuley, J.G. (1873). Slavery. In the Civilised British Government Under the Cloak of Brahmanism (Patil, P.G, Trans). Education Department, Government of Maharastra.

2. Written in 1916 by Babasaheb Ambedkar, Origins of Caste offers sociological explanations behind the durability of the caste system.
Ambedkar, BR (1916). Columbia University. CASTES IN INDIA: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development.

3. Published in 1936 by Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Annihilation of caste is an undelivered lecture and one of the most important works of political writing on caste.
Ambedkar, BR (1990). Annihilation of Caste: An Undelivered Speech.New Delhi: Arnold Publishers.
Ramasamy, E.V. (1934). Why were women enslaved? (Kandasamy, M, Trans). Chennai: The Periyaar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution.

4. The essentialist school viewed caste as “an indispensable ‘Hindu’ institution” and failed to acknowledge that caste practices were possible outside the Hindu religion. Dumont's influential work presented that caste practices, ideas and interactions were inseparable from the Hindu religion.
Dumont, L. (1980). Homo Hierarchicus. The Caste System and Its Implications. University of Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Chapters Introduction, Chapter 2.

5. However, Appadurai, Dirks and Inden rejected the Dumontian approach as it resulted in the evacuation of history and agency.
Appadurai, A. (1986). Is Homo Hierarchicus? [Review of Fluid Signs: Being a Person the Tamil Way; The Untouchable as Himself: Ideology, Identity and Pragmatism among the Lucknow Chamars; The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self under Colonialism, by E. V. Daniel, R. S. Khare, & A. Nandy]. American Ethnologist, 13(4), 745–761.
Berreman, G. D. (1971). On the Nature of Caste in India A Review Symposium on Louis Dumont’s Homo Hierarchicus : 3 The Brahmannical View of Caste. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 5(1), 16–23.
Dirks, N. (2001). Castes of Mind: Colonialism and Making of Modern India. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Introduction.
Inden, R. B. (1990). Imagining India. Oxford: Blackwell. Chapters 1 & 2.

6. In response, Timothy Fitzgerald argued that Dumont could not be accused of being guilty of Orientalism as Babasaheb Ambedkar and other anti-caste movements' strategies have shown that Dumont's analytical categories can be helpful to claim social equality.
Fitzgerald, T. (1996). From structure to substance: Ambedkar, Dumont and orientalism. Contribution to Indian sociology, vol.30, no.30 (2), 273-287.

7. Indologists and Orientalists constructed the “book view” of rural India from Hindu scriptures and the historical record. In the post-Independence period, this was gradually replaced by the "field view" of sociologists and anthropologists, based on participant observation.
Jodhka, S. S. (1998). From “book view” to “field view”: Social anthropological constructions of the Indian village. Oxford Development Studies, 26(3), 311–331.

8. David Mosse offers a detailed account of caste practices amongst Tamil Dalit Christians. The book also analyses Christianisation's role in anti-caste Dalit social activism in Tamil Nadu.
Mosse, D 2012, The Saint in the Banyan Tree: Christianity and Caste Society in India. Berkeley. University of California Press. Conclusion Chapter.

9. Caste may not exist in Islamic texts but Muslims in India do practice caste system.
Prof. Ansari, K. A. (2017, March 29). Caste should be seen as the overarching category in Indian society: Khalid Anis Ansari –. Round Table India.