Caste at Birth? Redefining Disparity in India
15 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2016
Date Written: February 2001
Using household information in the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) 1992/93 data, this paper examines regional variations in intercaste disparity in India. Based on five variables that are indicators of the standard of living of the three major caste/tribe groups identifiable in the data, a “caste deprivation index” is constructed that can be reversed to read as a “caste development index.” Mapping the regional variation in this index, the paper makes a plea for focusing on caste as an essential ingredient in the study of stratification patterns in India’s population.
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