Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

caste Related Abstracts

11 Caste and Marriage: A Qualitative Study of Four Castes from City of Lahore

Authors: Huma Aly, M. Asir Ajmal, Maryam F Munir

Abstract:

The present study explored the role of caste system in determining and understanding the positive and negative impact of within caste marriages. It analyzed various rituals and concept of dowry system across castes. Reasons for the emphasis on within caste marriage were identified. Qualitative research method was used and for this purpose semi structured interviews were conducted across four castes namely Arains, Jutts, Sayyads, and Kakezais. The sample consisted of eight individuals including a male and female from each caste. Grounded theory method was used to analyze the results. Codes, categories and themes were formulated. Findings revealed that rriage mrituals and dowry system varied across biradries. Parents and grandparents still feel reluctant to marry outside their own caste. One major reason which appeared was that while marrying across castes, individuals feel reluctant to marry in Jutts and Kakezais. On the contrary, modernization, education and urbanization is changing the mindset of new generation and some of them want to eradicate the negative aspects of this system. This study will play a significant part in changing the traditional viewpoint of majority of elders of our society who still have immense association with the caste they belong to.

Keywords: Codes, Pakistan, Categories, caste, themes

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10 Organization of the Olfactory System and the Mushroom Body of the Weaver Ant, Oecophylla smaragdina

Authors: Rajashekhar K. Patil, Martin J. Babu

Abstract:

Weaver ants-Oecophylla smaragdina live in colonies that have polymorphic castes. The females which include the queen, major and minor workers are haploid. The individuals of castes are dependent on olfactory cues for carrying out caste-specific behaviour. In an effort to understand whether organizational differences exist to support these behavioural differences, we studied the olfactory system at the level of the sensilla on the antennae, olfactory glomeruli and the Kenyon cells in the mushroom bodies (MB). The MB differ in major and minor workers in terms of their size, with the major workers having relatively larger calyces and peduncle. The morphology of different types of Kenyon cells as revealed by Golgi-rapid staining was studied and the major workers had more dendritic arbors than minor workers. This suggests a greater degree of olfactory processing in major workers. Differences in caste-specific arrangement of sensilla, olfactory glomeruli and celluar architecture of MB indicate a developmental programme that forms basis of differential behaviour.

Keywords: caste, ant, oecophylla, mushroom body

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9 Patriarchy in Caste Society and Control over Women’s Sexuality in India

Authors: Renu Singh

Abstract:

The caste system in Indian society plays an important role in subjugation of women. It creates divides and controls over women’s sexuality in various ways. This paper attempts to look into various modes in which the institution of caste makes some forms of sexuality as socially “acceptable” norms, while deems others as obscene, immoral and against social ethos. Based on a review of existing literature in this area this paper attempts to understand the notion of sexuality in Indian context. It tries to understand how the emergence of norms and values of sexual behaviour has been entwined with the evolution of caste system and the subjugation of many sections of Indian society. It also attempts to trace the internalisation of patriarchal values in Indian society, and the role played by the colonial rulers in creating and maintaining stringent division of space into public and private ones. It is argued here that brahmanical patriarchy, which is a unique phenomenon of the Indian Subcontinent, plays a crucial role in subjugating and controlling women in general and their sexuality in particular. It also creates a divide among women of different castes. Furthermore, the process of colonisation played an important role in shaping the discourse of sexuality in its present form. There were contradictions as well as consensus between the colonial rulers over the questions of regulation of the private domain, as in introducing reform legislation in the nineteenth century informed the debate on sexuality in postcolonial India. The process of emergence of the dichotomous notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sexuality, and the resistance to any ‘deviation’ from the ‘normal’ sexuality is located, not merely in the ‘passive’ evolution of society, but in the actual politics of it.

Keywords: Control, Regulation, Sexuality, India, caste, brahmanical patriarchy

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8 A Comparative Analysis of Social Stratification in the Participation of Women in Agricultural Activity: A Case Study of District Khushab (Punjab) and D. I. Khan (KPK), Pakistan

Authors: Sohail Ahmad Umer

Abstract:

Since last few decades a question is raising on the subject of the importance of women in different societies of the world particularly in the developing societies of Asia and Africa. Female population constitutes almost 50% of the total population of the world and is playing a significant role in the economy with male population. In Pakistan, a developing country of Asia with majority of Muslim population, working women role is more focused. Women of rural background who are working as voluntary workers and their working hours are neither recorded nor recognized. Agricultural statistics shows that the female participation rate is below 40% while other sources claim them below 20%. Here in present study, another effort has been made to compare the women role in two different provinces of Pakistan to analyze the participation of women in agricultural activities like sowing, picking, irrigating the fields, harvesting and threshing of crops, caring and feeding of the animals, collecting the firewood and etc,as without these activities the farming would be incomplete. One hundred villages in the district Khushab (Punjab) and one hundred villages in district D.I.Khan (KPK) were selected and 33% of the families of each village have been interviewed to study their input in agriculture work. Another important feature is the social stratification therefore the contribution by different variables like the ownership, tenancy, education and caste has also been studied.

Keywords: Social Stratification, caste, tenancy, voluntary workers

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7 Social Justice and Castes Discrimination: Experiences of Scheduled Castes Students in India

Authors: Dhaneswar Bhoi

Abstract:

In Indian History, the Dalits (Scheduled Castes) were exploited with caste, since the Vedic Age (1500 BCE). They were deprived of many rights in the society and their education was also restricted by the upper castes since the introduction of the Law of Manu (1500 BCE). The Dalits were treated as lower castes (Sudras and Ati-Sudra) in the society. Occupation of these caste groups were attached to some low profile and menial occupation. Whereas, the upper caste (Brahamins) declared themselves as the top most caste groups who chose the occupation of priests and had the supreme right to education. During those days occupation was not decided by the caliber of a person rather, it was decided by the upper caste Brahamins and kept on transferring from one generation to another generation. At this juncture of the society, the upper caste people oppressed and suppressed the lower caste people endlessly. To get rid of these social problems the emancipator and the charismatic leader (Prophet for the lower caste communities), Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar appeard in the scene of Indian unjust society. Restlessly he fought against the caste oppression, social dogmas and tyranny on the basis of caste. Finally, he succeeded to affirm statutory safeguards for the oppressed and depressed or lower caste communities. Today these communities are scheduled as Scheduled Castes to access social justice for their upliftment and development. Through the liberty, equality and fraternity, he established social justice for the first time in the Indian history with the implementation of Indian Constitution on 26th January 1950. Since then the social justice has been accessed through the Constitution and Indian Republics. However, even after sixty five years of the Indian Republic and Constitutional safeguards the Scheduled Castes (SCs) are suffering many problems in the phases of their life. Even if there are special provisions made by the state aimed to meet the challenges of the weaker sections, they are still deprived of access to it, which is true especially for the Dalits or SCs. Many of the people of these communities are still not accessing education and particularly, higher education. Those who are managing to access the education have been facing many challenges in their educational premises as well as in their social life. This paper tries to find out the problem of discrimination in educational and societal level. Secondly, this paper aims to know the relation between the discrimination and access to social justice for the SCs in the educational institution and society. It also enquires the experiences of SCs who faced discrimination in their educational and social life. This study is based on the both quantitative and qualitative methods. Both of which were interpreted through the data triangulation method in mixed methodology approach. In this paper, it is found that the SCs are struggling with injustice in their social and educational spheres. Starting from their primary level to higher education, they were discriminated in curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Keywords: Education, Social Justice, Discrimination, caste, scheduled castes

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6 Social Inequality and Inclusion Policies in India: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward

Authors: Usharani Rathinam

Abstract:

Although policies directing inclusion of marginalized were in effect, majority of chronically impoverished in India belonged to schedule caste and schedule tribes. Also, taking into account that poverty is gendered; destitute women belonged to lower social order whose need is not largely highlighted at policy level. This paper discusses on social relations poverty which highlights on how social order that existed structurally in the society can perpetuate chronic poverty, followed by a critical review on social inclusion policies of India, its merits and demerits in addressing chronic poverty. Multiple case study design is utilized to address this concern in four districts of India; Jhansi, Tikamgarh, Cuddalore and Anantapur. These four districts were selected by purposive sampling based on the criteria; the district should either be categorized as a backward district or should have a history of high poverty rate. Qualitative methods including eighty in-depth interviews, six focus group discussions, six social mapping procedures and three key informant interviews were conducted in 2011, at each of the locations. Analysis of the data revealed that irrespective of gender, schedule castes and schedule tribe participants were found to be chronically poor in all districts. Caste based discrimination is exhibited at both micro and macro levels; village and institutional levels. At village level, lower caste respondents had lesser access to public resources. Also, within institutional settings, due to confiscation, unequal access to resources is noticed, especially in fund distribution. This study found that half of the budget intended for schedule caste and schedule tribes were confiscated by upper caste administrative staffs. This implies that power based on social hierarchy marginalize lower caste participants from accessing better economic, social, and political benefits, that had led them to suffer long term poverty. This study also explored the traditional ties between caste, social structure and bonded labour as a cause of long-term poverty. Though equal access is being emphasized in constitutional rights, issues at micro level have not been reflected in formulation of these rights. Therefore, it is significant for a policy to consider the structural complexity and then focus on issues such as equal distribution of assets and infrastructural facilities that will reduce exclusion and foster long-term security in areas such as employment, markets and public distribution.

Keywords: India, caste, inclusion policies, social order

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5 The Discursive Representation of the Marxist Reality: A Comparative Analysis of the South Asian-Indian and African-American Writers

Authors: Wajid Hussain

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The paper draws upon the study of socioeconomic reality as associated with discursively manipulative strategies in the representative fictional works from the South Asian Indian and the Afro-American literature. The study determines the context to which power functions behind the discourse of the powerful social groups, investigates how the socially established identities, such as constituted by caste and race, serve the vested interests of these elites, and, finally, ascertains the reaction which this socioeconomic monopoly of the few incurs from the socioeconomically dominated majority of the society. The study examines this notion in the selected fictional works by applying the methodological theory of Dialectical Materialism, which is the philosophical foundation of Marxism, and the concept of Discourse and Manipulation, a perspective form of Critical Discourse Analysis. The study adds a new dimension to the existing literature in that it not only focuses on the tussle between the social classes as based on the socioeconomic disparity but also traces out the emergence of the individuals from the socioeconomically victimized groups. Besides, it studies this endless socioeconomic process, as based on class distinction, from the perspective of discourse as well.

Keywords: Race, Dialectical materialism, caste, discourse and manipulation

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4 Metamorphosis of Caste: An Examination of the Transformation of Caste from a Material to Ideological Phenomenon in Sri Lanka

Authors: Pradeep Peiris, Hasini Lecamwasam

Abstract:

The fluid, ambiguous, and often elusive existence of caste among the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka has inspired many scholarly endeavours. Originally, Sinhalese caste was organized according to the occupational functions assigned to various groups in society. Hence cultivators came to be known as Goyigama, washers Dobi, drummers Berava, smiths Navandanna and so on. During pre-colonial times the specialized services of various groups were deployed to build water reservoirs, cultivate the land, and/or sustain the Buddhist order by material means. However, as to how and why caste prevails today in Sinhalese society when labour is in ideal terms free to move where it wants, or in other words, occupation is no longer strictly determined or restricted by birth, is a question worth exploring. Hence this paper explores how, and perhaps more interestingly why, when the nexus between traditional occupations and caste status is fast disappearing, caste itself has managed to survive and continues to be salient in politics in Sri Lanka. In answer to this larger question, the paper looks at caste from three perspectives: 1) Buddhism, whose ethical project provides a justification of social stratifications that transcends economic bases 2) Capitalism that has reactivated and reproduced archaic relations in a process of 'accumulation by subordination', not only by reinforcing the marginality of peripheral caste groups, but also by exploiting caste divisions to hinder any realization of class interests and 3) Democracy whose supposed equalizing effect expected through its ‘one man–one vote’ approach has been subverted precisely by itself, whereby the aggregate ultimately comes down to how many such votes each ‘group’ in society has. This study draws from field work carried out in Dedigama (in the District of Kegalle, Central Province) and Kelaniya (in the District of Colombo, Western Province) in Sri Lanka over three years. The choice of field locations was encouraged by the need to capture rural and urban dynamics related to caste since caste is more apparently manifest in rural areas whose material conditions partially warrant its prevalence, whereas in urban areas it exists mostly in the ideological terrain. In building its analysis, the study has employed a combination of objectivist and subjectivist approaches to capture the material and ideological existence of caste and caste politics in Sinhalese society. Therefore, methods such as in-depth interviews, observation, and collection of demographical and interpretive data from secondary sources were used for this study. The paper has been situated in a critical theoretical framework of social inquiry in an attempt to question dominant assumptions regarding such meta-labels as ‘Capitalism’ and ‘Democracy’, and also the supposed emancipatory function of religion (focusing on Buddhism).

Keywords: Democracy, Capitalism, Buddhism, Sri Lanka, caste

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3 Discrimination Faced by Dalit Women in India

Authors: Soundarya Lahari Vedula

Abstract:

Dalit women make up a significant portion of the Indian population. However, they are victims of age old discrimination. This paper presents a brief background of the Indian caste system which is a hierarchical division placing Dalits at the lowest rank. Dalits are forced to perform menial and harsh tasks. They often face social ostracism. The situation of Dalit women is of unique significance as they face triple discrimination due to their caste, gender, and class. Dalit women are strictly withheld by the rigid boundaries of the caste system. They are discriminated at every stage of their life and are denied access to public places, education and healthcare facilities among others. They face the worst forms of sexual violence. In spite of legislations and international conventions in place, their plight is not adequately addressed. This paper discusses, in brief, the legal mechanism in place to prohibit untouchability. Furthermore, this paper details on the specific human rights violations faced by Dalit women in the social, economic and political spheres. The violations range from discrimination in public places, denial of education and health services, sexual exploitation and barriers to political representation. Finally, this paper identifies certain lacunae in the existing Indian statutes and broadens on the measures to be taken to improve the situation of Dalit women. This paper offers some recommendations to address the plight of Dalit women such as amendments to the existing statutes, effective implementation of legal mechanisms and a more meaningful interpretation of the international conventions.

Keywords: Equality, Class, Discrimination, caste, Dalit

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2 Caste of Women: An Inquiry into the Differences in Inter-Caste Marriages in an Adivasi Samaj

Authors: Dhiraj Kumar

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The paper attempts to argue that the regulation of the rural lower caste woman’s life-world is at the core of the reproduction of hierarchy in an Adivasi samaj (society). It has been established in studies on caste and Adivasi that the two societies are distinct and operate through different structures, norms, rituals, beliefs, etc. This is as opposed to the colonial and certain post-independence anthropology in/of India that collapsed the two into single categories for analysis. However, how the two seemingly different social structures affect each other has attracted little attention. The paper is inspired by an action-research at Gadh-Bansla, an Adivasi village in the Kanker district of Chhattisgarh that houses different caste groups – OBCs and SCs, as well as two different Adivasi groups: Gond and Halba. The action-research, taken place across a year, has worked with six families of the different groups present (i.e., Gond, Halba, OBCs, and SCs) in which inter-caste marriages have taken place. Through in-depth interviews and free association discussions with these six families, the paper presents the ways in which the samaj and caste society have interacted. It has been observed that there is a difference in treatment in marriages between a lower caste woman marrying into an upper caste or Halba household, and an upper caste or Halba woman marrying into a lower caste household. While the upper caste woman is easily accepted into the Adivasi samaj and the husband’s family, the same does not hold true for the lower caste woman. The lower caste woman has to face humiliation through untouchability, fine on the family, or in some cases excommunication of the couple. The paper concludes with a need to use caste as a central analytic to understand gender discrimination even in Adivasi contexts.

Keywords: woman, caste, Adivasi, Samaj, humiliation

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1 Collateral Impact of Water Resources Development in an Arsenic Affected Village of Patna District

Authors: Asrarul H. Jeelani

Abstract:

Arsenic contamination of groundwater and its’ health implications in lower Gangetic plain of Indian states started reporting in the 1980s. The same period was declared as the first water decade (1981-1990) to achieve ‘water for all.’ To fulfill the aim, the Indian government, with the support of international agencies installed millions of hand-pumps through water resources development programs. The hand-pumps improve the accessibility if the groundwater, but over-extraction of it increases the chances of mixing of trivalent arsenic which is more toxic than pentavalent arsenic of dug well water in Gangetic plain and has different physical manifestations. Now after three decades, Bihar (middle Gangetic plain) is also facing arsenic contamination of groundwater and its’ health implications. Objective: This interdisciplinary research attempts to understand the health and social implications of arsenicosis among different castes in Haldi Chhapra village and to find the association of ramifications with water resources development. Methodology: The Study used concurrent quantitative dominant mix method (QUAN+qual). The researcher had employed household survey, social mapping, interviews, and participatory interactions. However, the researcher used secondary data for retrospective analysis of hand-pumps and implications of arsenicosis. Findings: The study found 88.5% (115) household have hand-pumps as a source of water however 13.8% uses purified supplied water bottle and 3.6% uses combinations of hand-pump, bottled water and dug well water for drinking purposes. Among the population, 3.65% of individuals have arsenicosis, and 2.72% of children between the age group of 5 to 15 years are affected. The caste variable has also emerged through quantitative as well as geophysical locations analysis as 5.44% of arsenicosis manifested individual belong to scheduled caste (SC), 3.89% to extremely backward caste (EBC), 2.57% to backward caste (BC) and 3% to other. Among three clusters of arsenic poisoned locations, two belong to SC and EBC. The village as arsenic affected is being discriminated, whereas the affected individual is also facing discrimination, isolation, stigma, and problem in getting married. The forceful intervention to install hand-pumps in the first water decades and later restructuring of the dug well destroyed a conventional method of dug well cleaning. Conclusion: The common manifestation of arsenicosis has increased by 1.3% within six years of span in the village. This raised the need for setting up a proper surveillance system in the village. It is imperative to consider the social structure for arsenic mitigation program as this research reveals caste as a significant factor. The health and social implications found in the study; retrospectively analyzed as the collateral impact of water resource development programs in the village.

Keywords: Water Resources, caste, arsenicosis, collateral impact

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