Caste and everyday university life: Psycho-emotional experiences of Dalit students

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This study is based on the everyday social experiences of Dalits, which is overloaded with the complex painful feelings and mental injury caused by the caste-based experiences at higher education level. It examines the psychological and emotional harm a Dalit undergoes at their educational premises of the university space. The chapter also investigated the dynamics of the social process in higher education which engaged the social perception, connotation and caste experiences into a ‘self-harm’ process in contextualising the Dalit students in India, while theoretically engaging with ‘humiliation’, ‘lived experience’ and ‘everyday social’ (Guru, Humiliation: Claims and contexts. Oxford University Press, 2009; Guru & Sarukkai, The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory Oxford University Press, 2012, Experience, Caste, and the Everyday Social. Oxford, 2019). This is exploratory research, drawing on empirical evidence collected from 250 Dalit students for quantitative data. Subsequently, ten case studies and five focused group discussions were conducted for qualitative data with Dalit students in one university of India. The study arrived at the findings by analysing the data through triangulation methods. The study finds, due to the social perceptions, prejudices, stigma and connotation in everyday life, Dalit students face discrimination, untouchability and un-see-ability that create another level of experiences. Consequently, they suffer mental conflict, mental block, discouragement, loss of concentration, inferiority and frustration. At their most extreme, these experiences lead them to the feelings of suicidal tendencies or undergo ‘self-harm’ situations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCaste and Everyday University Life
Subtitle of host publicationExperience and Affect in Indian Society
EditorsDhaneswar Bhoi, Hugo Gorringe
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783031306556
ISBN (Print)9783031306549
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2023


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