The role of water in an unequal social order in India

Joshi, Deepa and Fawcett, Ben (2005) The role of water in an unequal social order in India In, Coles, Anne and Wallace, Tina (eds.) Gender, Water and Development. Basingstoke, GB, Berg pp. 39-56.


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Analysing social relations in contemporary India, Dube (1996) identified that the caste system prevails, its boundaries and hierarchies articulated by gender. The structure on which this social system is based was defined in Vedic philosophical texts about four thousand yeasrs ago and re-interpreted and made more rigid over the following two millennia.

The interplay of water, caste and gender in Hindu society, in which water both is polluted by the touch of the impure and purifies those who are so polluted, is evident in the lives of women and men living in a group of Himalayan villages in India. This chapter describes the historical evolution of the beliefs that underpin today's Hindu society, and reviews the particular constraints faced by Dalits and women.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9781845201258 (print)
139781845201241 (print)
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ePrint ID: 74529
Date :
Date Event
July 2005Published
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:46
Further Information:Google Scholar

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