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Caste, Entrepreneurship and the Illusions of Tradition


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A striking ethnography of traditional potters combining caste with a modern business sensibility to respond to the rapid economic developments in urban India

Caste, Entrepreneurship and the Illusions of Tradition is an ethnographic study of the potters of Kolkata’s Kumartuli, an analysis of their lives and the related commodification and instrumentalization of caste. This group of artisans turned artists do not display passive responses to colonial and capitalist encounters but engage actively with the modern and economic developments of society at large, redefining the concept of caste identity in the process. Caste, Entrepreneurship and the Illusions of Tradition suggests a new academic direction for the study of modern India, and of caste in particular, through an empirically grounded portrayal of the synthesis of traditional categories and contemporary realities.

List of Figures; Acknowledgements; Transliteration and Terminology; Prologue: The Durga Puja Business; 1. On Kumars, Modernity, Caste and Commodification; 2. The Civilized Potters and Their Neighbourhood; 3. Birth of Tradition, Coming of Modernity; 4. Ancestral Homes – East versus West; 5. Turmoil and Economics; 6. Accumulated Value: Education and Caste as Assets; 7. Commodification of Caste; References; Index.



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Published 02 January 2017
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EAN13 9781783085194
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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