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'Required reading for all of humanity' Oprah Winfrey 'An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.' Dwight Garner, The New York Times 'The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power - which groups have it and which do not' Beyond race or class, our lives are defined by a powerful, unspoken system of divisions. In Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson gives an astounding portrait of this hidden phenomenon. Linking America, India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson reveals how our world has been shaped by caste - and how its rigid, arbitrary hierarchies still divide us today. With clear-sighted rigour, Wilkerson unearths the eight pillars that connect caste systems across civilizations, and demonstrates how our own era of intensifying conflict and upheaval has arisen as a consequence of caste. Weaving in stories of real people, she shows how its insidious undertow emerges every day; she documents its surprising health costs; and she explores its effects on culture and politics. Finally, Wilkerson points forward to the ways we can - and must - move beyond its artificial divisions, towards our common humanity. Beautifully written and deeply original, Caste is an eye-opening examination of what lies beneath the surface of ordinary lives. No one can afford to ignore the moral clarity of its insights, or its urgent call for a freer, fairer world.
Contents: Introduction, The Caste System, India s Social Customs and Systems, The Changing Concept of Caste in India: History and Review, Society: Class, Family and Individual, Division of Castes, Expulsion from Caste, Caste System: A Case of South India, Caste System in India, Various Rules: Religion and Caste, Organisation and Jurisdiction, Disintegration and Multiplication of Caste, Caste and Structure of Society, Our Social Heritage.
This volume offers for the first time a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the making and maintenance of a modern caste society in colonial and postcolonial West Bengal in India. Drawing on cutting-edge multidisciplinary scholarship, it explains why caste continues to be neglected in the politics of and scholarship on West Bengal, and how caste relations have permeated the politics of the region until today. The essays presented here dispel the myth that caste does not matter in Bengali society and politics, and make possible meaningful comparisons and contrasts with other regions in South Asia. The work will interest scholars and researchers in sociology, social anthropology, politics, modern Indian history and cultural studies.