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Mapping the ElitePower, Privilege, and Inequality$
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Surinder S. Jodhka and Jules Naudet

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199491070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199491070.001.0001

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Kula Gauravam, Transnational Migration, and Class Mobility

Kula Gauravam, Transnational Migration, and Class Mobility

Reconfiguring the Dominant Caste Status in Coastal Andhra

(p.162) 5 Kula Gauravam, Transnational Migration, and Class Mobility*
Mapping the Elite

Sanam Roohi

Oxford University Press

Perceived from the outside and inside as a cohesive community, Kammas (a dominant caste in Coastal Andhra) self-project themselves as a group that has always extended the frontiers of economic advancement, including through transnationalization. Despite the sense of community cohesiveness, there exist layers of class stratification within this community. In this chapter, I argue that the notion of kula gauravam (caste pride) and kutumba gauravam (family pride) play a significant role in creating aspirations among the non-elite Kammas to become rich like others in the community and motivate them to bridge this class gap. To ‘middle-class’ Kammas then, transnational migration and urbanity become central precepts around which this, once rural and peasant, community has attempted to jump the scale of class to recreate their rightful economic status akin to their high-caste status (refurbished from a Sudra to a Kshatriya status in the last century).

Keywords:   class, migration, urbanity, caste pride, transnationalization

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