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Practicing CasteOn Touching and Not Touching$
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Aniket Jaaware

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282265

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282265.001.0001

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Society, Sociality, Sociability

Society, Sociality, Sociability

(p.170) 7 Society, Sociality, Sociability
Practicing Caste

Aniket Jaaware

Fordham University Press

This chapter studies society and sociability. “Society” is a European notion. If the ancient Sanskrit descriptions of the fourfold division have some truth in them, it would mean that there were four societies. Indeed, the word for society, samaj, also means caste, clan, and community. So there are, then, many of what is called samaj. This is not a happy plurality—it is segmentationalist. It becomes clear that there never was “a society.” What can be found is “sociability.” Every moment of interacting with those people one does not know, one has to find that moment's sociability. That is what samaj means. Sociability is a matter of how one relates to “others”—those persons and things that one does not know at all.

Keywords:   society, sociability, Sanskrit, fourfold division, samaj, caste, clan, community, segmentation

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