South Asian society has long been represented by rigid systems of hierarchy. Caste, most famously, has been represented as an inexorable determinant of social possibility. Yet, what are the ways in which people actually identify themselves, and to what extent is hierarchical identification a product of South Asia's modern history? This course explores the problems of social and cultural difference in South Asia. How do modern institutions such as the census and electoral politics shape the way in which these problems are perceived today? What are the effects of the introduction of English education? How does migration and diaspora impinge upon identity? In addition to caste, we also consider religion, class, gender, and migration in seeking to unravel the complex notion of ethnicity.
Max Enrollment: 25
Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies
Typical Periods Offered: Spring
Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered