Do Indians "Caste Away" Dirty Individuals?: Exploring Children and Adults’ Biases Against Uncleanliness in Mumbai
MetadataShow full item record
Historically, the caste hierarchy in India plays a pivotal role in the regulation and production of various social interactions, and it divides social groups in part through describing lower castes as impure or dirty. To examine the extent to which these enduring cultural beliefs are reflected in Indian children’s interactions with physically dirty individuals, we measured the attitudinal biases of 5–9 year olds from upper classes toward unhealthy and unclean people in Mumbai, India. Participants were shown a picture of “twins”—one was dirty/sick (spilled soup or vomit on the shirt) and the other was clean/healthy (clean shirt). A series of tasks measured implicit and explicit biases and found some evidence of negative attitudes towards unhealthy/dirty people. This project was supported by funding from F&M's Office of the Provost.
Poster presented at the 2018 Autumn Research Fair at Franklin and Marshall College