Caste : the emergence of the South Asian social system


Caste : the emergence of the South Asian social system

Morton Klass

Manohar, 1998

  • hard
  • paper

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 2



"First edition 1980. Second edition with a new introduction 1993"--T.p. verso

Bibliography: p. 197-205

Includes index



How and why did the caste system emerge in South Asia? Why do contemporary anthropologists and Indologists experience so much difficulty with this problem? Morton Klass addresses both these questions in this book, and the result is an intellectual adventure story, an essay in ethnohistorical deduction and reconstruction. Klass begins by examining the assumptions underlying the older explanations of the origin of caste, tracing their roots in dubious history, ethnocentrism, and outmoded theory. Then, using contemporary anthropological writings on ecology, economy, social structure, and cultural evolution, he develops a scenario in which caste emerges as a transformation of an earlier clan structure that until now has been considered an evolutionary dead end. His radically new explanation is the result of a pioneering effort in theoretical synthesis. By employing the tools of what he calls 'eclectic anthropology' -- an approach frequently attacked by proponents of more rigid and exclusionary strategies -- he brings together elements from the seemingly unconnectable approaches of such major theorists as Claude Levi-Strauss. Marvin Harris, and Karl Polanyi. Caste offers a challenge to scholars to free themselves of their theoretical fetters, to open themselves to ideas from all corners of their discipline.


  • Preface
  • Introduction, 1993
  • An Argument for Eclecticism
  • Intimations of Caste
  • Divine Plan or Racial Antipathy?
  • The 'Occupation' Hypothesis & Some Other Dubious Proposals
  • The Units of the Caste System
  • The Economy of Caste
  • From Clan to Caste
  • The Emergence of the Caste System in South Asia
  • Conclusions & Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • Index.

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  • ISBN
    • 8173040540
    • 8173042594
  • 出版国コード
  • タイトル言語コード
  • 本文言語コード
  • 出版地
    New Delhi
  • ページ数/冊数
    xxv, 212 p.
  • 大きさ
    22 cm
  • 分類
  • 件名