Natural Hierarchies: The Historical Sociology of Race and Caste

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Natural Hierarchies adopts a highly original approach to trace the emergence and development of social rank in our present-day world. The author draws upon traditional methods used in the social sciences, detailed accounts of historical events in Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean, and mainland America, to illustrate how meanings of race and caste have been transformed mainly through political struggles, and particularly in the context of colonialism. This new and highly provocative analysis looks at ideas of hierarchy in the light of the latest historical, anthropological, and sociological evidence to generate understanding of present struggles in race and ethnic relations. It is a well-reasoned account that illuminates the strong historical links between the idea of hierarchy and concepts of race and caste.