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Whose Reality Counts?

Emergent Dalitbahujan Anthropologists

Reddi Sekhara Yalamala

India. Studying the Indian society involves living through its processes which also involves a close study of its multiple castes that have constructed myriad forms of suppression and hegemonic relationship s. ( Ilaiah 2009: xxvii ) Indian society is

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Perverse Economies of Intimate and Personal Labour

Resuming Domestic Work in Households after the Lockdown

Pooja Satyogi

atta [flour] dough with her hands? Her hands may be infected. Let automation take care of hygiene this time!’ ( Scroll 2020 ; my emphasis). Following public protests on the Internet for the advertisement's class and caste insinuations, the company

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Re(casting) the Secular

Religion and Education in Kerala, India

Ritty Lukose

The anthropology of caste in India has conventionally rendered caste as a category of traditional religion, something that has been challenged by a historical anthropology of caste and its transformations under colonialism. Given this deconstruction of caste as tradition, how are we to approach its highly charged and contested presence within contemporary democratic politics in India? Examining the everyday institutional workings of secularism and democratic citizenship through the key institution of education, the article situates caste in relationship to secular modernity. In an analysis of the cultural politics of caste, religion, and secularism in a low-caste college in Kerala, India, that caters to the Ezhava caste community, the article argues for an understanding of caste as a fault line for the contested negotiations of tradition and modernity, the private and the public, the religious and the secular that mark contemporary cultural politics in India.

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Emancipation as social equality

Subaltern politics in contemporary India

Indrajit Roy

). As members of a community stigmatized as an “untouchable caste” by dominant groups, they face widespread discrimination ( Jaoul 2011 ). Against these oppressive social relationships, Musahar agricultural laborers seek to assert claims of social

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Anumpama Rao

Craig Jeffrey. Timepass: Youth, Class, and the Politics of Waiting. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010. vii + 221 pages.

Manuela Ciotti. Retro-Modern: Forging the Low-Caste Self. London, New York, and New Delhi: Routledge, 2010. xvii + 292 pages.

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A Dignified Meal

Negotiated Spaces in India’s School Meal Program

Sony Pellissery, Sattwick Dey Biswas, and Biju Abraham

representative of each social group and identity. We interviewed five male and five female service users from each school: three of them belonged to Scheduled Castes (SC), and two belonged to Scheduled Tribes (ST), as institutionalized by the Constitution of

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Culture and Psychoanalysis

A Personal Journey

Sudhir Kakar

Starting with a reflection on the experience of his own analysis, conducted in German by a German analyst, the author explores the problems of psychoanalytic work carried out in a cross-cultural context. First, the Hindu world-view and its three major elements, moksha, dharma, and karma, are explained. The cultural belief in a person's inner limitations is contrasted with the Western mind-set of individual achievement. The high value that Hindu society places on connection as opposed to separation and how this affects notions of gender and the sense of one's body is discussed. The article then returns to the author's experiences in analysis and his conclusions about the nature of cultural transference and counter-transference and the optimal approach toward psychoanalysis with regard to differing cultural backgrounds.

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Alpa Shah and Sara Shneiderman

This is the introduction to a special section of Focaal that includes seven articles on the anthropology of affirmative action in South Asia. The section promotes the sustained, critical ethnographic analysis of affirmative action measures adopted to combat historical inequalities around the world. Turning our attention to the social field of affirmative action opens up new fronts in the anthropological effort to understand the state by carefully engaging the relationship between the formation and effects of policies for differentiated citizenship. We explore this relationship in the historical and contemporary context of South Asia, notably India and Nepal. We argue that affirmative action policies always transform society, but not always as expected. The relationship between political and socioeconomic inequality can be contradictory. Socioeconomic inequalities may persist or be refigured in new terms, as policies of affirmative action and their experiential effects are intimately linked to broader processes of economic liberalization and political transformation.

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The Pandemic of Productivity

The Work of Home and the Work from Home

Suchismita Chattopadhyay

home, historically and in the contemporary imagination, barring a few exceptions, have been the domain of women. There exists a rich literature that demonstrates how during the colonial period the upper-caste Bengali home was the prime site of social

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The Concept of Sentimental Boyhood

The Emotional Education of Boys in Mexico during the Early Porfiriato, 1876–1884

Carlos Zúñiga Nieto

compares newspaper articles of both Mexico City and the Yucatán to flesh out the popularization of the concept of boyhood in the context of anti-colonial insurrection in Cuba during the Ten Years’ War (1868–1878) and the Caste War (1847–1901) in neighboring