This important volume provides an alternative perspective on caste. It demonstrates that the traditional view of casteas a single hierarchy, with Brahmins at the top and the untouchable castes at the bottomis no longer valid. From politics to gender to economic interaction, the contributors reveal how the erstwhile single, pure hierarchical order is constantly being questioned and weakened.The essays in this volume argue for a different conceptualisation of casteone that would take into account the need for caste assertion and dignity as well as notions of hierarchy. The contributors show that while pride in ones caste identity is an important feature of the caste order, this is not incompatible with contesting notions of hierarchy. Caste is now better seen in terms, first, of discrete identities and then in terms of multiple and contesting hierarchies. Using contemporary experiences, this exciting volume reflects on received wisdom concerning theories of caste and provides an entirely fresh perspective.

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