Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mapping the ElitePower, Privilege, and Inequality$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Surinder S. Jodhka and Jules Naudet

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199491070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199491070.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2020

The Meritocrats

The Meritocrats

The Indian Institutes of Technology and the Social Life of Caste

Chapter:
(p.37) 1 The Meritocrats*
Source:
Mapping the Elite
Author(s):

Ajantha Subramanian

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199491070.003.0002

The politics of meritocracy at the Indian Institutes of Technology illuminates the social life of caste in contemporary India. This chapter argues that an IIT graduate’s status depends on the transformation of privilege into merit, or of caste capital into modern capital. It also calls for a relational approach to merit as a response to subaltern assertion. Analysing claims to merit in relation to subaltern politics allows us to see how they shift between disavowing and affirming caste affiliation. In this marking and unmarking of caste, we see that claims to collective belonging and to merit are eminently commensurable, and become more so when subaltern assertion forces privilege into the foreground. Rather than the progressive erasure of ascribed identities in favour of putatively universal ones, we are witnessing the re-articulation of caste as an explicit basis for merit and the generation of newly consolidated forms of upper casteness.

Keywords:   caste, meritocracy, privilege, subalternity, democracy, education

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .