Author: Isabel Wilkerson
Reviewer: Salili Khilnani
‘Caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred; it is not necessarily personal,’ she writes. ‘It is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of a social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things.’ The caste model moves white behaviour away from subjective feelings (what motivates these people to do what they do) and into the objective realm of power dynamics (what they do, and to whom). The dynamic that concerns Wilkerson the most is how a dominant caste stops a low-ranking caste from gaining on it.
Published in the New Yorker, the full article can be read on: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/17/isabel-wilkersons-world-historical-theory-of-race-and-caste