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Caste And Capitalism In Colonial India: The Nattukottai Chettiars

by David West Rudner

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Book Description
David Rudner's richly detailed ethnographic and historical analysis of a South Indian merchant-banking caste provides the first comprehensive analysis of the interdependence among Indian business practice, social organization, and religion. Exploring noncapitalist economic formations and the impact of colonial rule on indigenous commercial systems, Rudner argues that caste and commerce are inextricably linked through formal and informal institutions. The practices crucial to the formation and distribution of capital are also a part of this linkage. Rudner challenges the widely held assumptions that all castes are organized either by marriage alliance or status hierarchy and that caste structures are incompatible with the "rational" conduct of business.

About the Author
David West Rudner is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boston University.



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