The creation of Homo General Category

This Politic piece on caste in America is pretty balanced. But one thing that this “Indian Americans are so casteist” discourse misses is that 85% of Indian American Hindus are “General Category”, with a few percent being Dalits or Scheduled Tribes (the remainder are OBC). There aren’t many low caste people to discriminate against, but secondarily, America is a caste shredder.

The latest surveys suggest that for Indian Americans born in the USA, 30% of their spouses are non-Indian, 30% of their spouses are US-born Indians, and 40% of their spouses are Indian-born Indians. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of the the 30% who marry other US-born Indians are marrying outside of their jati-varna. I suspect that perhaps a majority of the remaining 40% who have Indian-born Indian spouses are jati-varna endogamous because of arranged marriages, but I know a substantial number of US-born Indian Americans, men and women, who met and married Indian-born Indian immigrants, usually meeting them through work or social contexts. I am pretty sure that the majority of US-born Indians are marrying outside of their jati, often outside of their region.

You can test this proposition at the high socioeconomic status groups by looking at the NY Times Wedding Announcements.

Look under some very distinctive names, and look who they are marrying.

– Mukerhjee
– Iyer
– Sen
– Mehta
– Patel
– Arora
– Reddy
– Singh
– Deshmukh
– Kulkarni

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ohwilleke
7 months ago

“I am pretty sure that the majority of US-born Indians are marrying outside of their jati, often outside of their region.”

This has been my limited experience with U.S. born or 1.5 gen Indian-Americans, although this reality has led to lots of tensions with the families of the couples.

Guy
Guy
7 months ago

Agree with ohwilleke, in my NASA adjacent community most of the Indians marrying other Indians here in the US are marrying outside their caste. And yes, there is always family drama. Which is usually solved with the first grandchild.

phyecho1
phyecho1
6 months ago

can one get the difference btw hindus vs non hindus for this.In any case, out marrying rate being far above that in India would be the death knell argument for those talking of caste in usa.

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