Recast(e)ing Inequality: Residential Segregation by Caste across City Size in India

Gayatri Singh, Brown University
Trina Vithayathil, Brown University

Against the backdrop of India’s transformation from a majority rural to an increasingly urban society, this paper seeks to understand how patterns of inequality vary across city size. We use ward level data from the Indian Census to examine residential segregation by caste in small, medium and large cities within select Indian states. Restricting the analyses to cities in specific states allows us to control for the tremendous socio-political diversity in India. Our findings resonate with other recent scholarship on caste inequalities in urban India, with small cities demonstrating the highest degree of residential segregation by caste. In contrast, larger cities show comparatively lower levels of residential segregation; perhaps due to intermixing of diverse linguistic, ethnic and regional identities that reconfigure caste relations and diminish caste based inequalities.

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Presented in Poster Session 7