Educational Inequality in Institutionalized Social Stratification Systems: The Case of Caste-Based Educational Inequality in India

Cecily D. Adams, University of Maryland

Globally, Education for All initiatives are designed to decrease social inequality through improved schooling enrollment and educational quality in developing countries like India. However, previous national-level Indian analyses have been limited in assessing learning outcomes. Using the India Human Development Survey 2005 (IHDS) and the 2005-2006 Indian District Information System for Education (DISE), this analysis uniquely assesses student learning outcomes for 8-11 year old primary school-aged children in relation to caste as well as social and economic resources at the individual/household and district/state levels. IHDS reading and mathematics assessment measures serve as outcomes in this sample of 12,302 children. This caste-centered analysis explores educational disadvantage for India’s lowest castes—Dalits—relative to caste-Hindus in India; and draws theoretical linkages to the institutionalized educational inequality experienced in other socially stratified contexts, with particular parallels drawn between Dalit schooling in India and African American schooling in the US.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1