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Article

Digvijay Singh Negi, Pratap Birthal, Anjani Kumar and Gaurav Tripathi

The main aim of this paper is to assess the relevance of caste-based social networks in the dissemination of technologies and innovations in the Indian agriculture.

Abstract

Purpose

The main aim of this paper is to assess the relevance of caste-based social networks in the dissemination of technologies and innovations in the Indian agriculture.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the unit-level data from a large-scale farm survey, this paper constructs a multidimensional index of social networks encompassing households' castes and information sources within the administrative boundaries of a district and subsequently assesses its association with the adoption of modern seeds of staple food crops.

Findings

There is a strong effect of caste-based networks on the adoption of modern seeds of different crops, but the effect is linked to the stage of technological change, i.e. the network effect is stronger for the crop that has experienced late technological change. Further, the behavior of network members is found to have a bigger impact on the individuals' technology adoption decisions as compared to the characteristics of individuals in the network.

Research limitations/implications

Given likely, increases in demand for diverse information and limited outreach of public extension systems, the findings suggest that in a socially heterogeneous society the caste-based social networks can serve as an important channel for the dissemination of information and innovations.

Originality/value

What is unique in this paper is that it constructs a multidimensional index of social networks embedding the farm households' castes and information sources within the administratively defined boundaries of a geographical region.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Book part

Bhupesh Manoharan and Rohit Varman

Purpose: This paper examines beef consumption practices in two villages of Tamil Nadu, India. It inquires into how the upper castes create spatial boundaries to separate…

Abstract

Purpose: This paper examines beef consumption practices in two villages of Tamil Nadu, India. It inquires into how the upper castes create spatial boundaries to separate the inside from the outside in their consumption of beef.

Methodology: The research was carried out in two villages of Kariacheri and Pudupattinam located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. We conducted 70 in-depth interviews, and observed beef buying and consumption practices.

Findings: The research shows how the upper castes separate the inside from the outside and surreptitiously consume beef. Dalits or untouchables are unable to create such separations, and as a result are stigmatized and ostracized. Moreover, the distinction between the inside and the outside is not fixed but is in a state of transition.

Originality and value: This study offers insights into how stigma is defined by spatial boundaries. These insights help to understand purity, pollution, and stigma in consumption practices as ongoing processes that are often created to justify social divisions and discriminatory practices.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-907-8

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Book part

G.G. Wankhede

Importance and relevance of formal education continues to be a significant factor in social development and change. This is particularly important in developing countries…

Abstract

Importance and relevance of formal education continues to be a significant factor in social development and change. This is particularly important in developing countries like India, which has been traditionally and historically driven by the principle of inequality and hierarchy through religion and a caste system. Education has been a monopoly of few upper castes (especially Brahmins) whereas majority masses have been denied access to education. Education underwent significant change only after the advent of British. Although the Britishers’ goal of introducing modern education was limited to their vested interests, it was secular in nature and open to all and therefore it could reach the castes other than Brahmins. Supported by modern system of education, the industrial revolution brought modern values of life, such as equality and humanity, to India. For the first time in the history of India's education, these castes could access formal education.

Details

Higher Education in a Global Society: Achieving Diversity, Equity and Excellence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-182-8

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Article

Vani Kant Borooah, Anirudh Tagat and Vinod Mishra

The purpose of this paper is to provide a quantitative assessment of caste-based conflict in India. The data for this paper are from the Rural Economic and Demographic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a quantitative assessment of caste-based conflict in India. The data for this paper are from the Rural Economic and Demographic Survey (REDS) of 2006 encompassing 8,659 households in 242 villages in 18 Indian states.

Design/methodology/approach

Using these data, the authors examine two broad issues: the sources of conflict in rural India and the degree to which these sources contribute to caste-basted, as opposed to non-caste-based conflict; the sources of conflict resolution in rural India: are some conflict-resolving agencies more effective at dealing with caste-based conflicts and others more effective with non-caste-based conflicts?

Findings

There was a rise in caste-based conflict over the (approximate) period 1996-2006. There are several reasons for the rise in caste-based conflict but, in the main, is the rise in assertiveness of persons belonging to India’s lower castes. In terms of conflict resolution, panchayats and prominent individuals were important in resolving village conflicts: 69 per cent of caste-based, and 65 per cent of non-caste based, conflicts were resolved by one or the other of these two agents.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt, using econometric methodology, to study caste conflict at a village level in India.

Details

Indian Growth and Development Review, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8254

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Article

Ambika Prasad, Laurie T. O’Brien and Caitlin E. Smith Sockbeson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of caste identity in applied settings. The authors do this within the larger framework of affirmative action programs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of caste identity in applied settings. The authors do this within the larger framework of affirmative action programs (AAPs) or “reservations” in India. The paper explores the interplay of a primordial identity like caste with the modern institutions representing equality – a context unique to India.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the findings of two experimental studies collecting data using Mechanical Turk.

Findings

The first study finds that an individual hired under the AAP is perceived poorly on his/her competence and reward worthiness. The second study finds support for the influence of an individual’s conception of modern casteism and his/her caste identity as factors in shaping attitudes toward AAP.

Research limitations/implications

The paper lays the groundwork but does not explore the contours of casteism in contemporary India. Understanding of this construct as well as the impact of factors as region, education, urbanization, religion, nature of employment, etc. on caste dynamics should be considered by future research.

Practical implications

The paper uncovers some similarities between Indian and Western findings, but it also demonstrates key differences between findings related to race-based AAPs in the West and the caste-based AAP in India. This understanding will guide discourses on diversity management in under-researched countries like India. The findings can sensitize organizations to the need for addressing unconscious biases related to caste.

Social implications

The paper underscores the continuing relevance of caste in modern India and the negative perceptions of lower castes. The paper finds that individuals with an appreciation of the subtle forms of casteism are sympathetic to programs that promote social equality. In modern social contexts this nuanced operationalization of casteism can be a relevant indicator of caste dynamics.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study to examine caste-based AAP in India in an applied study and unpacks the psychological underpinnings of the attitudes toward AAP.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article

Autar S. Dhesi

There is sufficient empirical evidence to suggest that discrimination, defined as absence of equal opportunities, exists before the market as well as in the market against…

Abstract

There is sufficient empirical evidence to suggest that discrimination, defined as absence of equal opportunities, exists before the market as well as in the market against certain social categories in India. Inequality in access to sources of human capital acquisition reinforces inequality in the labour market and vice versa. Apparently, caste‐community discrimination and class discrimination overlap. However, in the case of socially deprived categories, the latter accentuates the former. The impact of modernisation notwithstanding, the inegalitarian sacral tradition of caste still has strong hold over the minds and lives of Indians. The development processes have strengthened caste and community consciousness resulting in the metamorphosis of different social categories into interest groups. With patron‐client relationship as the basis for political mobilization, development policies have favoured the dominant social categories as well as the articulate better‐off sections across all social categories. So it seems that “divinely ordained” social inequities persist in a secular garb, though possibly with reduced inhumanity. Yet, with increasing political assertion of the lower social categories and widening opportunities for social mobility, hegemony of the traditional elite is likely to decline. The change in the composition of the elite should foster non‐brahmanical pragmatic cultural ethos conducive to social mobility and development. The policies designed to promote equal opportunities, taking into account heterogeneity of Indian society, will speed up the process of socio‐economic change.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 25 no. 6/7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article

Khalil Ahmad, Ayesha Farooq and Ashraf Khan Kayani

The purpose of this paper is to look into marriage patterns and family structure and changes therein over the period of 50 years. Reasons for change in marriage patterns…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look into marriage patterns and family structure and changes therein over the period of 50 years. Reasons for change in marriage patterns are also included. It also includes marriage arrangements in the village by time periods. The latter part of the paper explores changes in family structure and its relevant reasons over the decades.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey was conducted to attain and assess the required information. An interview schedule was developed as a tool for data collection. Systematic sampling technique was used for the selection of the respondents (aged 55+). These respondents were assumed to have observed the changes over the decades. The results were based on trend analysis from 1960s through 2008.

Findings

The results showed that material exchanges on the vital events have declined with the exception of marriage occasion over the period of time. The data shows that most of the marriages were taking place between close relatives from 1960s through 1980s. Substantial decline in these marriages was replaced by corresponding increase in inter-caste marriages after 1990 due to education and economic factors. During the same period, a shift is observed from joint family system to nuclear one.

Social implications

Policy makers might consider various social trends to manage changes in a traditional society.

Originality/value

This paper focusses on changes in marriage patterns and family structure along with their pertinent causal factors in a rural community of the Punjab, Pakistan.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

Sudhir K. Saha

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between managerial values and preference for hiring of low caste and female job candidates in the context of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between managerial values and preference for hiring of low caste and female job candidates in the context of the six decades of affirmative action in India.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of managers from India filled in a questionnaire indicating their beliefs and values concerning the Indian reservation system, social activism and minority employment. Subjects also made hiring choices in a simulated decision environment.

Findings

Findings indicate that managers were marginally in favour of hiring minority candidates and that their values and beliefs concerning minority employment of low caste and female job candidates were mixed.

Research limitations/implications

The study used self‐reported questionnaires, and the sample size was small. Future studies are recommended to overcome the limitations.

Practical implications

Managers responsible for making hiring decisions should be trained and educated in the need for equity, justice and diversity in the workplace.

Originality/value

This investigation provides empirical evidence linking managerial beliefs and values to hiring preferences of minority job candidates.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article

Lee Bosher

The paper seeks to assess the influence and effectiveness of non‐governmental organisations (NGOs) in targeting and aiding “communities” to reduce their socio‐economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to assess the influence and effectiveness of non‐governmental organisations (NGOs) in targeting and aiding “communities” to reduce their socio‐economic vulnerability to infrequent large‐scale and common everyday crises in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection included 342 questionnaires with village inhabitants, local and regional government officials and personnel managing and working for local NGOs. To add qualitative detail to the quantitative data that were collected, 308 “everyday” sociograms, 294 “crisis” sociograms, and 34 semi‐structured interviews were also conducted.

Findings

The research identifies that NGOs in the study areas do not operate in multi‐caste villages, apparently because they prefer to operate in relatively homogeneous single‐caste villages. The implications are that some of the most vulnerable members of society, such as the marginalised “communities” that partially constitute multi‐caste villages, do not receive the support they need.

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses on a specific region of Andhra Pradesh with the consequence that the findings are potentially very context‐specific. Nonetheless, the findings highlight a fundamental flaw in the way many NGOs operate in this region, through the targeting of perceived “easy cases”, and this is a matter that development agencies should consider and further investigate.

Originality/value

This paper will be of value to researchers and practitioners seeking to gain a better understanding of NGOs and the way some of them operate. The paper recommends a number of ways that the observed inefficiencies could be addressed.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 34 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article

Srinivas Goli, Nagendra Kumar Maurya and Manoj Kumar Sharma

A continuous mixed opinion on the relevance of caste-based reservations and caste as a factor of socioeconomic disparity in the recent period demands update of evidence on…

Abstract

Purpose

A continuous mixed opinion on the relevance of caste-based reservations and caste as a factor of socioeconomic disparity in the recent period demands update of evidence on socioeconomic inequalities among caste groups for effective policy making. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the caste inequalities in terms of socioeconomic opportunities and poverty are still persisting in rural Uttar Pradesh based on village census surveys?

Design/methodology/approach

This study used data primarily collected from four village census surveys under the project rural transformation in Uttar Pradesh, 2013. Bivariate analyses, human opportunity index (HOI), multidimensional poverty index (MPI) and inequality decomposition analyses used as methods of analyses.

Findings

The authors findings suggest that in spite of more than six decades of welfare policies and major political mobilization movements among lower castes in the state, the huge inequalities in terms of critical socioeconomic indicators such as landholding, higher education and wealth distribution and multi-dimensional poverty across the castes are still persisting in the state. Decomposition results suggest that between group inequalities contribute more to the total inequality in landholding whereas within group inequalities contribute maximum to total inequality in education and wealth status of different castes in rural Uttar Pradesh. However, within inequalities much less in general castes compared to SCs/OBCs.

Originality/value

Based on its latest empirical evidence, this study strengthens the argument that caste still matters in socioeconomic achievements of the population in India even after decades of planning and financing of social welfare schemes to uplift the lower castes in India. Thus, provides critical inputs to current debates on the relevance of caste as a determinant of socioeconomic status in India.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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