Caste, class, and city : the shaping of religious social capital in contemporary India.
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Stroope, Samuel M.
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Building on the implications of qualitative work from India and urbanism theories, I aim to understand how religious bonding social capital in contemporary India varies along greater urbanization and whether social class or caste affects such differences. I use a multinomial logistic regression on 1,417 Hindu respondents in a nationally representative sample of India (World Values Survey-India 2001). Results indicate that religious social capital is fostered by urbanism and that this association is stronger for upper castes. Conversely, there is little evidence that social class similarly mediates the connection between urbanism and greater religious social capital. In light of these findings, religious bonding might be better understood as rooted in the interaction of caste dynamics and changes in the urban environment, rather than as a result of greater affluence. The data are also consistent with work underscoring the importance of disentangling social class and caste among Hindus in contemporary India.