Race and Caste (Gen Ed 1126)





What can thinking about race and caste together tell us about identity and inequality?


Ethics & Civics icon with textHistories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

Ajantha Subramanian

Race and caste are two of the most enduring forms of social stratification. While their histories date well before the advent of political democracy, they have taken on new forms in the context of democratic social transformation and capitalist development. In this course, we will grapple with the meanings, uses, and politics of race and caste historically and in the contemporary moment. Drawing on mid-20th century sociological debates on race and caste as comparative categories, empirical work in history and anthropology that traces the legacies of imperialism and capitalism in shaping race and caste, and insights from anti-racist and anti-caste social movements, this course considers the intersections of (and divergences between) the two forms of stratification. What does thinking race and caste together illuminate about the nature of ascriptive identity and inequality today?

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