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Caste and Equality

Friendship Patterns among Young Academics in Urban India

Caste hierarchy has frequently been singled out as the overriding principle of Indian society. This book examines its significance among the highly-educated middle class in the Tamil town of Madurai. As part of their distinctive status as `educated persons', young graduates form egalitarian constellations by ostensibly subverting the boundaries inscribed by caste hierarchy. Stephanie Stocker explores how these friendships are maintained in wider social contexts, finding that the actors engage in supportive networks throughout career and marriage events. Instead of assuming these relationships to be of an entirely different, `alternative category', however, Stocker's study proposes a dynamic character of friendship which in fact remains in conjunction with Indian values of hierarchy.

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