[CSH Seminar] Is caste a relevant comparative concept? (R. Lardinois)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to invite you to the CSH Seminar


Roland Lardinois

(Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – CNRS)


Is caste a relevant comparative concept?

Followed by discussion with Satish Deshpande (Delhi University)


Monday, 23 October 2023, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm IST

Centre de Sciences Humaines
IFI-CSH conference room (ground floor)
2 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi – 110011

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For those interested in the comparative dimension of the social sciences, the concept of caste and its trajectory since its emergence in the early 16th century to its uses in the first quarter of the 21 century, in India and outside, present a sociological case whose complexity allows one to question the relevance of the comparative use of this concept. Grounded on secondary literature and focusing on the circulation of people and concepts between Europe, India and the United States (excluding Central and South America), the aim of this presentation, a work in progress, is to attempt a partial mapping of the uses of the word caste and to question the meaning of the social realities that this word refers to by paying attention to the contexts of enunciation in which this concept is deployed and to the properties of the scholars who use it.


Roland Lardinois is a sociologist, emeritus research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. His research focuses on the history of Indian studies in France and the sociology of Indian engineers. He has published: Scholars and Prophets. Sociology of India from France 19th-20th centuries, Delhi: Social Science Press, 2013 (transl. from French); Les mondes de l’ingénieur en Inde (19e-21e siècle), ed. with Charles Gadea, Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2022; “Caste in Higher Education in India”, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 2021, li, 3, p. 443-458. https://doi.org/ 10.1162/jinh_a_01594; “The History of Caste Through Ages: Concept, Words, Things”, in Jotinder Jodkha and Jules Naudet (ed.), Castes, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2023, p. 25-47; “Émile Durkheim et la sociologie des religions: une configuration savante singulière autour du sacrifice vers 1900”, with Catherine Fhima, Études Durkheimiennes/ Durkheimian Studies, 2022, 26, p. 125-158. DOI: 10.3167/ds.2022. 260106

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CSH Seminars are in hybrid mode. We request you to pre-register before Monday, 23 October, 2:00 p.m. IST for both offline and online registration.

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