• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The continuous demand for Gendering Caste: Through a Feminist Lens (2003) led to this revised edition which analyses the recent socio-economic and political changes that have taken place. Caste-based marriage and control over women's sexuality have been crucial for the continuation of the caste system in India. Thus, caste and gender are linked. Brutal reprisals have followed when dalits and women have tried to challenge caste-based marriage and inequality which allots strict rules of conduct for women and all dalits.

The Formation of Patriarchy and the Subordination of Women
The formation of patriarchy and the subordination of women

Nur Yalman, an anthropologist, has argued that a fundamental principle of Hindu social organization was to construct a closed structure to preserve land, women and ritual quality within it.1 These three are structurally linked and it is impossible to maintain all three without stringently controlling female sexuality. Neither land nor ritual quality, that is, the purity of caste, can be ensured without closely guarding women who form the pivot of the entire structure. According to the ideology of the caste system, a person's blood is always bilateral, that is, its ritual quality is received from both parents. Thus ideally both parents must be of the same caste, ...

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