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Ethnicity and Class: Social Division in an Indian City

Gopa Sabharwal (Author)
Synopsis Belgaum, in India’s southern state of Karnataka, is a city that has consistently found itself in the news since the 1950s. This media interest is due to issues arising from its ethnic character. The city is home to multiple linguistic groups with Kannada and marathi both contending for linguistic, and consequently, social and political prominence. This fractious backdrop forms the basis of the present book. Ethnicity and Class interrogates issues of ethnic identity in terms of their social location and historicity. Furthermore, it seeks to demonstrate the significance of class in analyzing the dynamics of social life and its construction in India. What emerges, in consequence, is the notion that a comprehensive understanding of Indian society needs to move beyond the narrow confines of single indicators like caste, religion or language, to more inclusive concepts. The focus on Belgaum as a paradigm becomes a means to examine the very fabric of urban life with its uneasy mix of religion, sect, caste, language, and class. In a perceptive foreword, noted Indian sociologist Andre Beteille introduces the work and situates it in the context of collective identities and their complexities. The volume will be useful to social scientists, media commentators, and any one interested in comprehending social dynamics in contemporary India.
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About the author

Gopa Sabharwal

Gopa Sabharwal obtained a Ph.D in Sociology from the Delhi University for her research on ethnic groups and ethnicity with respect to the town of Belgaum in Karnataka. In 1993 she set up the Sociology department at the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi, where she teaches.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ethnicity and Class: Social Division in an Indian City
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195678303
length xxi+307p., Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.