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Life as a Dalit
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Life as a Dalit
Views from the Bottom on Caste in India



© 2013 | 492 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Life as a Dalit looks at caste society from the point of view of the Dalits, focusing on their worldview, emotions, and critical appraisal of their own position and of the higher groups. It is a volume based on the critical perspectives provided by scholars who have turned around the more acclaimed and accepted theories of caste society privileging the Brahmanical and textual interpretations of caste. It shows that those at the bottom have their own interpretations and follow a rationality that is tutored by their own life conditions and not what is fed to them from the top.

These views from the bottom are indicative of the way in which the oppressed live their lives, make critical judgments, and also stage protests, both symbolic and based on real violence against the oppressive system. The focus is more experiential and based on ground-level data-based chapters. It foregrounds the fact that history is created from the bottom of society as well as from the top and those at the bottom are their own agents and well aware of their subject positions.
Introduction: Looking Up at Caste: Discrimination in Everyday Life in India Subhadra Mitra Channa
 
I: THEORIZING MARGINALITY
The Caste System Upside Down Joan P Mencher
Atrocities and Segregation in an Urban Social Structure Nandu Ram
Continuity and Change in 'Ex- Untouchable' Community of South India Joan P Mencher
A reading of "Untouchable": The Autobiography of an Indian Outcaste Subhadra Mitra Channa
On Being an Untouchable in India: A Materialist Perspective Joan P Mencher
Conversion of Upper Castes into Lower Castes: A Process of Asprashyeekaran Shyamlal
Dalits to Benefit from Globalisation Lessons from the Past for the Present A Ramaiah
 
II: DOING FIELDWORK AMONG THE DALITS
Viewing Hierarchy from the Bottom Up Joan P Mencher
Becoming a Dhobi Subhadra Mitra Channa
 
III: RELIGION AND GENDER
Dancing the Goddess: Possession and Caste Karin Kapadia
The Bible and Dalits James Massey
Rediscovering God Iyothee Thassar and Emancipatory Buddhism G Aloysius
Religion, Social Space and Identity: Religion, Social Space and Identity : The Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha and the Making of Cultural Boundaries in Twentieth Century Kerala P Sanal Mohan
Dalit Women  
Part 1: Dalit Women in Struggle: Transforming Pain Into Power Ruth Manorama
Part 2: Commentary on Ruth Manorama’s Presentation at the Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995, Beijing Subhadra Mitra Channa
Part 3: Excerpts Bama
Caste and Gender: Understanding Dynamics of Power and Violence Kalpana Kannabiran, Vasanth Kannabiran
 
IV: FIGHTING THE SYSTEM: DALIT RESPONSES TO OPRESSION
Climax! The Encounter of Dalits and Hindus Vasant Moon
Theyyam Myth: An Embodiment of Protest J J Pallath
Documenting Dissent Badri Narayan
The Satnamis of Chhattisgarh Saurabh Dube
Does Replication Mean Consensus ? Dissenting the Hegemony by ‘Untouchable’ Scheduled Castes in Karnataka, South India G K Karanth
Reservations and New Caste Alliances in India Walter Fernandes
Conclusions Joan P Mencher
Index  

[The book] tries to take a look at caste from the bottom, rather than from the top...the recovery of the lost voices of the dalits is possibly the most important agenda behind the volume.

Economic & Political Weekly

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ISBN: 9788132111238