Caste As Social Capital – R. Vaidyanathan


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Many consider caste as an outdated institution, though it thrives in post-liberalization India. That being the case, caste has only been studied from a religious, social and political angle. It is grudgingly accepted that caste has economic ramifications. For instance, the establishment and running of businesses tap into caste networks, both in terms of arranging finance and providing access to a ready workforce. Despite that, any study of this aspect has been limited to looking at caste groups in terms of their per capita income, their representation in various professions and other statistical details.

Caste as Social Capital examines the workings of caste through the lens of business, economics and entrepreneurship. It interrogates the role caste plays in the economic sphere in terms of facilitating the nuts and bolts of business and entrepreneurship: finance, markets and workforce. Through this qualitative view of caste, an entirely new picture emerges, which forces one to view the age-old institution of caste in a new light.


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