Authors: Ambika Prasad, Laurie O’Brien and Caitlin E.Smith Sockbeson
Abstract: With the advent of modern social, economic and organizational institutions, the traditional paradigm of caste hierarchy in urban India is on a decline. Yet caste remains a potent reality in India. This paper explores the interesting interplay of a primordial identity like caste with the modern institutions representing equality – a context unique to India. We do this within the larger framework of Affirmative Action (AA) policies in India. The first study examines whether the belief that an individual was hired under the AA policy, affects perceptions of competence and reward worthiness of members of low-caste groups. The second study examines how individual conception of modern casteism and caste group centrality are factors in shaping responses of high caste members to AA policies.
Keywords: affirmative action, caste system, modern casteism, group centrality