Three Things Sara Dickey Wants You To Know about Her Latest Book ‘Living Class in Urban India’ — And the Cool Honor It Just Received

Professor of Anthropology Sara Dickey’s latest book has been honored by the Association for Asian Studies, a global nonprofit open to everyone interested in studying the region.

Her book, Living Class in Urban India (Rutgers University Press, 2016) was accorded Honorable Mention status in the Association’s Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize competition for 2018.

The prize is awarded to “honor a distinguished work of scholarship in South Asian Studies that promises to define or redefine the understanding of whole subject areas.”

“I have three primary aims with this book,” said Dickey.  “One is to make the everyday lives of urban South Indians understandable and sensible to a wide range of audiences, but especially to undergraduate readers.  

“The second is to shift away from material and objective aspects of class, which are more typical in studies of class, to the subjective experiences of class and their intangible but absolutely crucial impacts.  This means that I look primarily at class identities and class relations to explore both their short- and long-term effects.  

“Finally, my broadest goal in reframing class analysis in this way is to demonstrate that moral judgments aren’t just a result of class, they produce and enable class inequality.”

Dickey’s book has received positive reviews. “Individuals are viewed as poignant humans shaped by the sum of their multiple influences, rather than statistics pulled and pushed around by numerical forces,” writes Gayatri Jayaraman in Economic and Political Weekly. ‘”Dignity is key to Dickey’s understanding of class and its structures.”

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