Caste and Religion in Globalizing India

The course will be composed of a ten weeks programme in political sociology. Within the general theme of looking at politics and power from a sociological perspective, a module of four weeks will go more deeply into Indian politics of caste and religion.

The course will be addressing questions regarding the nature and sources of power, politics, religion, caste, state, law, democracy, citizenship, nation, imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, neo-liberalism, globalisation etc. It will address such binaries as community/society, public/private, modern/traditional, secular/religious, liberal/illiberal, authoritarian/democratic, colonial/metropolitan state etc. and it will look at all this in the context of different historical phases and different contemporaneous types of society such as tribal/lineage, feudal/tributary, early/late modern, political/civil, international/transnational etc.

We will read parts of the following major works on the topic and discuss them in class. Every student will summarise the assigned pages in a précis of around 350 words (due before the start of each session). For the term paper, each student will have to show evidence of having studied one or more of these works in depth.

  1. August, 32nd week (Michael)
  2. How to write a précis (Lukes)
  3. Lukes (1974) Power: A Radical View (1-13)
  4. August, 33rd week (Michael)
  5. Foucault (1978) Governmentality (201-222)
  6. Foucault “Essential Works” Introduction (xi-xli)

III. August, 34th week (Michael)

  1. Guha (1982) Subaltern Studies
  2. Chatterjee (1986) Nationalist Thought & the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse
  3. August, 35th week (Michael)
  4. Tilly (1975) The Formation of National States in Western Europe
  5. Anderson (1983) Imagined Communities
  6. September, 36th week (Anindita)
  7. Dumont (1980) Homo Hierarchicus I
  8. Dumont (1980) Homo Hierarchicus II
  9. September, 37th week (Anindita)
  10. Das (1982) Structure and Cognition: Aspects of Hindu Caste and Ritual I
  11. Das (1982) Structure and Cognition: Aspects of Hindu Caste and Ritual II

VII. September, 38th week (Anindita)

  1. Srinivas (1962) Caste in Modern India I
  2. Srinivas (1962) Caste in Modern India II

September, 39th week (Mid-term exams)

VIII. September, 40th week (Anindita)

  1. Khare (2009) Caste, Hierarchy and Individualism I
  2. Khare (2009) Caste, Hierarchy and Individualism II
  3. October, 41st week (Michael)
  4. Mann (1986) The Sources of Social Power
  5. Habermas (1989) The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
  6. October, 42nd week (Michael)
  7. Rudolph & Rudolph (2003) Gandhi, Civil Society and Public Spheres
  8. Rawls (1993) Political Liberalism
  9. October, 43rd week (Michael)
  10. Asad (1993) Genealogies of Religion
  11. Scott (1998) Seeing like a State

XII. October, 44th week (Michael)

  1. Bhargava (1999) Secularism and its Critics
  2. Chatterjee (2004) The Politics of the Governed

XIII. November, 45th week (Michael)

  1. Taylor (2007) A Secular Age
  2. Dusche (2010) Identity Politics in India and Europe

XIV. November, 46th week (Michael)

  1. Zachariah (2011) Playing the Nation Game: The Ambiguities of Nationalism in India
  2. Wolterstorff (2012) Understanding Liberal Democracy
  3. November, 47th week (Michael)
  4. Yack (2012) Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community
  5. Hardiman (2013) Toward a History of Non-Violent Resistance