Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Enduring Stereotypes about South Asia: India’s Caste System

For decades most United States textbooks dealing with South Asia have contained sections on India’s caste system, and most such sections have contrasted India’s “immobile caste society” negatively with America’s “open and mobile class society.” People in India are seen (presumably) as locked forever in birth-determined positions, while people in the United States can (presumably) rise to whatever levels their abilities and good fortune permit. Caste in India is described as a fatal...