How do some groups acquire the label ‘minority’? What prevents different oppressed groups from collaborating in the pursuit of political power? Why do identities linger when they mark and connote deprivation, oppression, and violence? How do different forms of difference figure in  hierarchical relationships to each other and preponderant groups and political institutions? How do oppressed groups innovate in resisting oppression and creating alternative political projects? 

This tutorial  will explore interconnected forms of social difference like race, caste, indigeneity, gender, and class in the United States and South Asia (and other contexts based on student interest) by studying the formation of identities before and during democratic rule, and the interaction of groups and institutions of political power. We will read texts in social and political theory, history, and the empirical social sciences. 

The tutorial will empower students to analyze identity in historically specific contexts, as well as the underlying abstract concepts. The tutorial will focus on, and train students in theoretical, archival, and ethnographic methods. This is a junior tutorial.