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Caste, Occupation and Politics on the Ganges (Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific)
This intriguing anthropological study of power and resistance in everyday life investigates how the boatmen of Banaras have repositioned themselves within the traditional social organisation and used their privileged position on the river to contest upper-caste and state domination. Unravelling the boatmen's relationship with the holy river and their...
This intriguing anthropological study of power and resistance in everyday life investigates how the boatmen of Banaras have repositioned themselves within the traditional social organisation and used their privileged position on the river to contest upper-caste and state domination. Unravelling the boatmen's relationship with the holy river and their wider social role in the city, Assa Doron examines the evolution of the boatmen community, and their 'criminal past', from the colonial period through to modern day India.By drawing on a variety of sources, such as colonial accounts, myths, songs, poems, and interviews with pilgrims and international tourists, the book provides a detailed analysis of the caste system, the construction of occupational and ritual identity, and how marginalized communities establish, maintain and advance their place in society. "Caste, Occupation and Politics on the Ganges" illuminates the cultural politics of social and economic inequality in contemporary India, and offers insight into recent debates about the cultural and historical forms of social practice and resistance at the juncture between tradition and the global economy, and will therefore appeal not only to anthropologists, but to anyone working in the field of development studies, globalisation, religion, politics and cultural studies.
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