“Government Brahmin” Caste, the Educated Unemployed, and the Reproduction of Inequities

  • A. R. Vasavi
Part of the Anthropological Studies of Education book series (ASE)


Policies and programs of reservation/protective discrimination in education have failed to address inequalities. Public humiliation, increased discrimination, and compromised life-chances mark the lives of many; especially, those who seek a better life through the education route. This essay, based on a longitudinal study, illustrates and draws on experiences of Mallesha, a scheduled caste person aspiring for a government job. Highlighting issues that the capability approach overlooks and tracking how institutions of the government and a range of programs, which are supposedly set up to facilitate “equality of opportunity,” fail to address the embedded nature of discrimination, disadvantage, and the internalized structures of inequality; this chapter captures the subjective dimensions of one person’s search for equality and dignity in a hierarchical society.


Educated Unemployed Caste disadvantages 



This paper was developed as part of the German Historical Institute London’s Transnational Research Group on ‘Poverty and Education in India’ and was a Working Paper in their series.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Vasavi
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarBengaluruIndia

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