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Understanding popular politics: Caste, kinship and factionalism among Yadavs in north India

Michelutti, L; (2010) Understanding popular politics: Caste, kinship and factionalism among Yadavs in north India. In: UNSPECIFIED (219 - 242).

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Abstract

This chapter explores the rise of caste politics and the dynamics of Indian popular politics in the 1990s in the state of Uttar Pradesh. By using the political ethnography of one of the most assertive and visible 'backward' castes in north India (the Yadavs) the chapter shows how the interrelation between vernacular socio-cultural idioms and structures (such as for example kinship structures, folk theories of descent, popular cults and local cosmologies) have been paramount in making 'democracy' part of the Indian political imagination and in informing the political upsurge of the common people and the shaping of political cleavages based on caste/community. The Yadavs of Mathura town represent an informative case study about processes of democratisation in India and provide fresh data on why certain groups are more apt to successfully exert their influence within the democratic political system, and why others are not, regardless of the fact that in many instances they have similar economic and political incentives and resources. © The British Academy 2010.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Understanding popular politics: Caste, kinship and factionalism among Yadavs in north India
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1360660
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