Social and political dominance in western UP: A response to Sudha Pai

R Jeffery, C J Jeffrey, P M Jeffery

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In our critique of a recent article by Sudha Pai (CIS vol. 34, no. 2) we argue that she provides inadequate evidence to support her case that there has been a dramatic change in dominance relationships in western UP. We identify problems of evidence in her claims about the significance of rising education of Chamars, and in the consequences of the changes that have taken place. We also suggest that her account of dominance needs to consider the erstwhile dominant as well as the dominated, and that she ignores evidence of the extent to which previously dominant castes have merely changed the ways in which they enforce compliance when necessary. Her evidence of change is inadequate: she provides perceptions of changes instead We also question the generalisability of her predictions, and use data from our own ongoing research in Bijnor district to suggest a modified picture of increasing access to schooling among the Chamars of western UP, and its likely effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-235
Number of pages23
JournalContributions to indian Sociology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001




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