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Title: Social stratification in a Punjabi village of Pakistan : the dynamics between caste, gender, and violence
Author: Usman, Ahmed
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 7853
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis looks at the system of social stratification in Punjabi villages of Pakistan using caste as a theoretical tool and develops an analysis of the dynamics between caste, gender, and violence. The focus of the research is the hierarchical arrangement of two major caste based status groups in Punjabi villages i.e. landowning castes, Zamindars, and service providing castes, Kammis, their asymmetrical social interactions in the village setting, and its changing patterns. The study draws on the theory of intersectionality to explore the social relations of dominance and resistance in the paradigm of caste and gender as an interconnected system of social oppression and structural violence. It is a case study comparative research and is conducted in two villages of Punjab province in Pakistan, each village as a unit of analysis; one in the arid and other in the irrigated agricultural zone. Since the ownership of land, the nature of agricultural activity, and the agrarian economy form the basis of traditional caste system in rural Pakistan, this research compares the dynamics between caste, gender, and violence in two different agricultural contexts. The literature has mostly dealt with the caste in Muslim Pakistan as a horizontal category with no real attempts to explore the caste relations in rural Pakistan in terms of power, difference, and inequality. This research contrasts with much of the existing literature on the area of caste in Pakistan and argues that the caste system in rural Pakistan exists in the form of the indigenous categories of Quom and Zat, which divide the Zamindar Quoms and Kammi Quoms in distinct and rigid birth-ascribed status groups on the basis of their parentage occupations. Looking at the changing dynamics of caste in contemporary Punjabi villages, this research argues that the caste system still plays a significant role in organizing the village structures. The villager's rights to participate in the social, political, and economic affairs of the village are determined by their caste and memberships in kinship groups. The power relations organized around the caste memberships, caste practices, and caste organization of the village influence the gender identities of the villagers, resulting in different shades of masculinities and femininities across Zamindars and Kamrnis.
Supervisor: Bagguley, Paul ; Hussain, Yasmin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available