You are here

Life as a Dalit

Life as a Dalit
Views from the Bottom on Caste in India

First Edition
Edited by:

October 2013 | 492 pages | SAGE India
Life as a Dalit looks at caste society from the point of view of the Dalits, focusing on their worldview, emotions, and critical appraisal of their own position and of the higher groups. It is a volume based on the critical perspectives provided by scholars who have turned around the more acclaimed and accepted theories of caste society privileging the Brahmanical and textual interpretations of caste. It shows that those at the bottom have their own interpretations and follow a rationality that is tutored by their own life conditions and not what is fed to them from the top.

These views from the bottom are indicative of the way in which the oppressed live their lives, make critical judgments, and also stage protests, both symbolic and based on real violence against the oppressive system. The focus is more experiential and based on ground-level data-based chapters. It foregrounds the fact that history is created from the bottom of society as well as from the top and those at the bottom are their own agents and well aware of their subject positions.
Introduction: Looking Up at Caste: Discrimination in Everyday Life in India

Subhadra Mitra Channa
The Caste System Upside Down

Joan P Mencher
Atrocities and Segregation in an Urban Social Structure

Nandu Ram
Continuity and Change in 'Ex- Untouchable' Community of South India

Joan P Mencher
A reading of "Untouchable": The Autobiography of an Indian Outcaste

Subhadra Mitra Channa
On Being an Untouchable in India: A Materialist Perspective

Joan P Mencher
Conversion of Upper Castes into Lower Castes: A Process of Asprashyeekaran

Dalits to Benefit from Globalisation Lessons from the Past for the Present

A Ramaiah
Viewing Hierarchy from the Bottom Up

Joan P Mencher
Becoming a Dhobi

Subhadra Mitra Channa
Dancing the Goddess: Possession and Caste

Karin Kapadia
The Bible and Dalits

James Massey
Rediscovering God Iyothee Thassar and Emancipatory Buddhism

G Aloysius
Religion, Social Space and Identity: Religion, Social Space and Identity : The Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha and the Making of Cultural Boundaries in Twentieth Century Kerala

P Sanal Mohan
Dalit Women

Part 1: Dalit Women in Struggle: Transforming Pain Into Power

Ruth Manorama
Part 2: Commentary on Ruth Manorama’s Presentation at the Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995, Beijing

Subhadra Mitra Channa
Part 3: Excerpts

Caste and Gender: Understanding Dynamics of Power and Violence

Kalpana Kannabiran, Vasanth Kannabiran
Climax! The Encounter of Dalits and Hindus

Vasant Moon
Theyyam Myth: An Embodiment of Protest

J J Pallath
Documenting Dissent

Badri Narayan
The Satnamis of Chhattisgarh

Saurabh Dube
Does Replication Mean Consensus ? Dissenting the Hegemony by ‘Untouchable’ Scheduled Castes in Karnataka, South India

G K Karanth
Reservations and New Caste Alliances in India

Walter Fernandes

Joan P Mencher


[The book] tries to take a look at caste from the bottom, rather than from the top...the recovery of the lost voices of the dalits is possibly the most important agenda behind the volume.

Economic & Political Weekly

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9788132111238