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Beyond Caste

Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present

Series:

Sumit Guha

'Caste' is today almost universally perceived as an ancient and unchanging Hindu institution preserved solely by a deep-seated religious ideology. Yet the word itself is an importation from sixteenth-century Europe. This book tracks the long history of the practices amalgamated under this label and shows their connection to changing patterns of social and political power down to the present. It frames caste as an involuted and complex form of ethnicity and explains why it persisted under non-Hindu rulers and in non-Hindu communities across South Asia.

Series:

Edited by Marleen Dieleman, Juliette Koning and Peter Post

The existing literature on Chinese Indonesians has so far tended to take an approach of either victimization and marginalization or a focus on elite businessmen and their economic influence. This volume takes a different perspective. The Chinese in Indonesia were not only innocent victims of history, but were simultaneously active agents of change. Chinese Indonesians from different walks of life played an active role in shaping society during regime changes and found creative and constructive ways to deal with situations of adversity. This book demonstrates that regime changes in Indonesia did not only pose threats of violence, but also offered opportunities that induced “agency” on the part of Chinese Indonesians to shape their own destinies and that of the country.