The Structural Position of a South Indian Caste: Kontaikkatti Velalar-s in Tamilnadu

Barnett, Stephen Alan

     This dissertation will concentrate on a single caste, Kontaikkatti Velalar, in and around Madras City, Tamilnadu, South India, describing its caste culture and caste rank. A description of the history and regional interconnections of Velalars is followed by an account of caste transactions and internal structure. Next the dissertation addresses the caste's external structure: The outlining of local transactions is only the first step in understanding [Kontaikkatti Velalar] structural position. We must now ask what are the rules ordering these transactions and what gives them significance and meaning. Or put another way, what is the [Kontaikkatti Velalar] conceptual framework? Then processes of recent change in Kontaikkatti Velalar villages are discussed along with the impact of those changes on the caste's structural position.

McKim Marriott (chair), Milton B. Singer, Clifford Geertz, Sol Tax