Examining the crucial linkages between caste and gender, undertaken, perhaps, for the first time, Uma Chakravarti unmasks the mystique of consensus in the workings of the caste system to reveal the underlying violence and coercion that perpetuate a severely hierarchical and unequal society. The subordination of women and the control of female sexuality are crucial to the maintenance of the caste system, creating what feminist scholars have termed brahmanical patriarchy. She discusses the range of patriarchal practice within the larger framework of sexuality, labour and access to material resources, and also focuses on the centrality of endogamous marriages that maintain the system. Erudite yet accessible, this book enables the reader to understand the interface of gender and caste and to participate in its critical analysis.
About the Author
Uma Chakravarti taught history at Miranda House from 1966-98. She has been associated with the women's movement and the democratic rights movement. Among her writings are The Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism (Oxford University Press,1987) and Re-Writing History: The Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai (Kali for Women, 1998).Maithreyi Krishnaraj is a pioneering scholar in gender studies and was formerly professor and director, Research Center for Women's Studies, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai. Among her writings are Essays on Science; co-authored with Neera Desai, Women and Society; with Joy Deshmukh Ranadive, Gender in Economic Theory and Practice; with Karuna Chanana, Women and the Household: Structural and Cultural Dimensions; and co-edited with Alice Thorner, 'Ideas, Images and Real Lives'; with Abusaleh shariff and Ratna Sudarshan, 'Population and Development'; with Abusaleh Shariff, 'Between State and Market'.