- 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.
Chapter 5: The Diversity of Patriarchal Practices
The Diversity of Patriarchal Practices
An aspect of the existential order of the caste system, in distinction from its normative order, outlined mainly for the uppermost castes, is the variety of practices ‘permitted’ or ‘tolerated’ and even ‘enforced’ by Hindu society. As pointed out earlier, the range of practices of different castes can be, and are, themselves placed in a hierarchy within the larger pyramidal structure of the caste system. The most valued attributes are associated with the top and the least valued attributes with the lowest rungs of the caste system. Among the key elements that distinguish these rungs are occupation and foods eaten—in terms of pure and impure—and marriage practices in terms of the most tightly controlled sexual ...