Results for “caste system”
35 found

Why isn’t the Indian caste system more protested in the United States?

About one-sixth of India is Dalits, or “Untouchables.”  And while Western criticisms of caste segregation are a long-standing observation about India, I hardly hear serious complaints over the last two decades or so.  In contrast, the apartheid system of South Africa met with demonstrations, boycotts, campus activism, frequent dialogue, and so on.  Why don’t we see some modified version of the same for the Indian caste system?  No matter how you compare its relative oppression to that of South Africa, it still seems like a massive system of unjust and opportunity-destroying segregation, and an efficiency-loser as well.  Here are a few hypotheses, not intended as endorsements but rather speculations:

1. The caste system is simply too difficult for most Americans to understand, whereas apartheid could be represented more readily in what I dare not call simple black and white terms.

2. Most of the Indians who migrate to the United States are higher caste or at least middling caste, and they sway American opinions of India in a way that South African migrants to the USA never did.

3. Libertarians don’t want to focus on the caste system because it persists without active government support being the main driver.  Democrats don’t want to focus on the caste system because Indian-Americans are often leading supporters and donors.  It doesn’t feel like a Republican issue either.  So who is there to push this one for domestic ideological reasons?

4. Talking about the caste system makes harder the (justified, I should add) program of raising the status of non-minority whites in America.

5. Talking about the caste system would focus light on caste-based discrimination in the United States, and distract attention from other domestic issues.

What else?  Overall I find this a disappointing topic to ponder.  Perhaps all politics, like envy, really is local after all.

I am indebted to Sujatha Gidla for a useful conversation on this topic.  My formal Conversation with her will be up in a bit, I still recommend her book on caste, Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India.

Toward a new, gender-based economic theory of the Indian caste system

This is just published in the Journal of Development Economics, from Chris Bidner and Mukesh Eswaran, and the title is “A Gender-Based Theory of the Origin of the Caste System of India”:

We propose a theory of the origins of India’s caste system by explicitly recognizing the productivity of women in complementing their husbands’ occupation-specific skill. The theory explains the core features of the caste system: its hereditary and hierarchical nature, and its insistence on endogamy (marriage only within castes). Endogamy is embraced by a group to minimize an externality that arises when group members marry outsiders. We demonstrate why the caste system embodies gender asymmetries in punishments for violations of endogamy and tolerates hypergamy (marrying up) more than hypogamy (marrying down). Our model also speaks to other aspects of caste, such as commensality restrictions and arranged/child marriages. We suggest that India’s caste system is so unique because the Brahmins sought to preserve and orally transmit the Hindu scriptures for over a millennium with no script. We show that economic considerations were of utmost importance in the emergence of the caste system.

There are ungated versions of the paper here.  Here are earlier MR posts on the Indian caste system.  I think I am not enough of a rational choice theorist to believe in any explanation of this sort, still it is sometimes better to try and fail than never to try at all…

The pointer to this paper is from Michael Clemens.

Was the Indian caste system efficient?

A new paper looks at some of the efficiency properties of castes:

The caste system in India has been dated to approximately 1000 B.C. and still affects the lives of a billion people in South Asia. The persistence of this system of social stratification for 3000 years of changing economic and social environments is puzzling. This paper formalizes a model of the caste system to better understand the institution and the reasons for its persistence. It argues that the caste system provided a tool for contract enforcement and facilitated trade in services, giving an economic reason for its persistence. A caste is modeled as an information-sharing institution, which enforces collective action. Trade is modeled as a version of the one-sided prisoner’s dilemma game, where the consumer has an opportunity to default. Consumers who default on a member of a caste are punished by denying them services produced in the caste. Various features of the caste system like occupational specialization by caste, a purity scale, and a hierarchy of castes are shown to be equilibrium outcomes that improve the efficiency of contract enforcement. The implications of the model are tested empirically using unique census data from Cochin (1875), Tirunelveli (1823) and Mysore (1941).

In other words, other caste members enforce norms on you and if you don’t follow them you are kicked out and you cannot easily join another caste.  Sounds like my idea of fun.  I have a few points:

1. No way should this paper spend so much time on a formal model.

2. The tests proffered on p.36 are related only tangentially to the paper’s main propositions.

3. When it comes to normative issues, the author can do no better than to write: "This should not be interpreted as saying that the case system was free of inefficiencies."  And that comes only on p.46.  Ha!

4. The paper commits the fallacies of excess functionalism.

5. Virtually any destructive institution which keeps economic transactions on a smaller scale may make contract enforcement "easier" in some regards.

6. This is nonetheless interesting work, and many more people should do research on this and related topics.  But in terms of emphasis this paper is way off base.

The pointer is from New Economist blog, which offers related links.  Readers, are any of you willing to defend the caste system, if only in part, on economic grounds?

Does caste matter?

If discrimination against an historically oppressed social group is dismantled, will the group forge ahead? This paper presents experimental evidence that a history of social and legal disabilities may have persistent effects on a group’s earnings through its impact on individuals’ expectations. 321 high-caste and 321 low-caste junior high school male student volunteers in village India participated in an experiment in which their caste either was not revealed or was made salient. There were no caste differences in performance when caste was not revealed, but making caste salient created a large
and robust caste gap in performance. When a non human factor influencing rewards (a random draw) was introduced, the caste gap disappeared. The results suggest that when caste identity is public information, low-caste subjects anticipate that their effort will be poorly rewarded. The experimental design enables us to exclude as explanations socioeconomic differences and a lack of self-confidence by low-caste players.

What are they really saying? When the Experiment-Meister knows who belongs to which caste, and this is common knowledge, the low caste players don’t try very hard. It seems the low caste players don’t expect to keep anything they might win.

Use the same players, but “caste blind,” and the low caste players put in a good showing. Their supposed “self-confidence” problems disappear. In fact the high caste players try harder too.

“Mistrust undermines motivation”, write the authors. How is that for a nice three word sentence?

The bottom line: File under: “More problems with Iraq.” No the Iraqis don’t have a caste system, but they are not used to playing by fair rules either. So we can’t expect them to trust the incentives we put before them.

Here is the full paper, which includes the details on experiment design. Of course one experiment doth not a full conclusion make, but I found this work fascinating. If I had an award for “paper of the week” [hmm…], this one might win it.

Where I differ from Bryan Caplan’s *Labor Econ Versus the World*

One thing I liked about reading this book is I was able to narrow down my disagreements with Bryan to a smaller number of dimensions.  And to be clear, I agree with a great deal of what is in this book, but that does not make for an interesting blog post.  So let’s focus on where we differ.  One point of disagreement surfaces when Bryan writes:

Tenet #6: Racial and gender discrimination remains a serious problem, and without government regulation, would still be rampant.

Critique: Unless government requires discrimination, market forces make it a marginal issue at most.  Large group differences persist because groups differ largely in productivity.

I would instead stress that most of the inequity occurs upstream of labor markets, through the medium of culture.  It is simply much harder to be born in the ghetto!  I am fine with not calling this “discrimination,” and indeed I do not myself use the word that way.  Still, it is a significant inequity, and it is at least an important a lesson about labor markets as what Bryan presents to you.

But you won’t find much consideration of it in Bryan’s book.  The real problems in labor markets arise when “the cultural upstream” intersects with other social institutions in problematic ways.  To give a simple example, Princeton kept Jews out for a long time, and that was not because of the government.  Or Princeton voted to admit women only in 1969, again not the government.  What about Major League Baseball before Jackie Robinson or even for a long while after?  Much of Jim Crow was governmental, but so much of it wasn’t.  There are many such examples, and I don’t see that Bryan deals with them.  And they have materially affected both people’s lives and their labor market histories, covering many millions of lives, arguably billions.

Or, the Indian government takes some steps to remedy caste inequalities, but fundamentally the caste system remains, for whatever reasons.  Again, this kind of cultural upstream isn’t much on Bryan’s radar screen.  (I have another theory that this neglect of culture is because of Bryan’s unusual theory of free will, through which moral blame has to be assigned to individual choosers, but that will have to wait for another day!)

We can go beyond the discrimination topic and still see that Bryan is not paying enough attention to what is upstream of labor markets, or to how culture shapes human decisions.

Bryan for instance advocates open borders (for all countries?).  I think that would be cultural and political suicide, most of all for smaller countries, but for the United States too.  You would get fascism first, if anything.  I do however favor boosting (pre-Covid) immigration flows into the United States by something like 3x.  So in the broader scheme of things I am very pro-immigration.  I just think there are cultural limits to what a polity can absorb at what speed.

If you consider Bryan on education, he believes most of higher education is signaling.  In contrast, I see higher education as giving its recipients the proper cultural background to participate in labor markets at higher productivity levels.  I once wrote an extensive blog post on this.  That is how higher education can be productive, while most of your classes seem like a waste of time.

On poverty, Bryan puts forward a formula of a) finish high school, b) get a full time job, and c) get married before you have children.  All good advice!  But I find that to be nearly tautologous as an explanation of poverty.  To me, the deeper and more important is why so many cultures have evolved to make those apparent “no brainer” choices so difficult for so many individuals.  Again, I think Bryan is neglecting the cultural factors upstream of labor markets and in this case also marriage markets.  One simple question is why some cultures don’t produce enough men worth marrying, but that is hardly the only issue on the table here.

More generally, I believe that once you incorporate these messy “cultural upstream” issues, much of labor economics becomes more complicated than Bryan wishes to acknowledge.  Much more complicated.

I should stress that Bryan’s book is nonetheless a very good way to learn economic reasoning, and a wonderful tonic against a lot of the self-righteous, thoughtless mood affiliation you will see on labor markets, even coming from professional economists.

I will remind that you can buy Bryan’s book here, and at a very favorable price point.

Indian population bottlenecks

…we found that West Eurasian-related mixture in India ranges from as low as 20 percent to as high as 80 percent…

Groups of traditionally higher social status in the Indian caste system typically have a higher proportion of ANI [Ancestral North Indians] ancestry than those of traditionally lower social status, even within the same state of India where everyone speaks the same language.  For example, Brahmins, the priestly caste, tend to have more ANI ancestry than the groups they live among, even those speaking the same language.

It also seems that a disproportionate share of the ANI genetic input came from males.  Furthermore:

Around a third of Indian groups experienced population bottlenecks as strong or stronger than the ones that occurred among Finns or Ashkenazi Jews.

Many of the population bottlenecks in India were also exceedingly old.  One of the most striking we discovered was in the Vysya of the souther Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, a middle caste group of approximately five million people whose population bottleneck we could date…to betweenthree thousand and two thousand years ago.

The observation of such a strong population bottleneck among the ancestors of the Vysya was shocking.  It meant after the population bottleneck, the ancestors of the Vysya had maintained strict endogamy, allowing essentially no genetic mixing into their group for thousands of years.

And the Vysya were not unique.  A third of the groups we analyzed gave similar signals, implying thousands of groups in India like this…long-term endogamy as embodied in India today in the institution of caste has been overwhelming important for millennia.

…The truth is that India is composed of a large number of small populations.

That is all from David Reich’s superb Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.  Here is my earlier post on the book.

The Relevance of BR Ambedkar in Modern India

Outside my apartment a cobbler has a sidewalk shop where he sits and fixes shoes. One of the things that interests me in this photo is the picture the cobbler hangs behind him, that’s BR Ambedkar. In the Cobblerindependence movement BR Ambedkar was the leader of the Dalit (untouchable) class and the guiding force in writing the Indian constitution, which in India makes him a combination of Martin Luther King and James Madison.

Ambedkar died in 1956 but he continues to be highly regarded, especially, but by no means solely, among the Dalits. Indeed, of the great triumvirate, Gandhi, Nehru, and Ambedkar, only Ambedkar seems to have grown in stature since his death. Gandhi is given lip service but his image no longer carries meaning. As Arundhati Roy put it, “Gandhi has become all things to all people…he is the Saint of the Status Quo.” The image of Ambedkar, however, still signals a demand for justice and an insistent claim that not all is yet right.

Today is Ambedkar’s birthday and at the stroke of midnight my neighborhood, which happens to be on Ambedkar Road, erupted in a party and parade that lasted until two in the morning.

Of the great triumvirate, I’ve always been partial to Ambedkar. He had a PhD in economics from Columbia where he worked under Edwin Seligman and later also graduated from the London School of Economics writing another dissertation under Edwin Cannan. Ambedkar was not a free market advocate and he didn’t write much in pure economics after the 1920s but he was an early supporter of monetary rules because he had a sophisticated understanding of the distributional consequences of monetary interventions and feared government manipulation.

A managed currency is to be altogether avoided when the management is in the hands of the government.

Ambedkar also wrote insightfully on the problem of India’s small farms, a problem that continues to plague India (although some of his solutions such as government ownership of land actually don’t fit the problem, lack of capital, that he emphasized).

So why does Ambedkar continue to resonate in modern India? Ambedkar never had Gandhi’s worship of the village and tradition. He understood that progress would come with cities, industrialization and education. Exactly the forces that are transforming India today. Ambedkar did not mince words:

The love of the intellectual Indian for the village community is pathetic. What is the village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow mindedness, and communalism?

Most importantly, quoting Luce’s excellent In Spite of the Gods (still the best introduction to modern India):

Ambedkar gave India’s most marginalised human beings their first real hope of transcending their hereditary social condition. He saw the caste system as India’ greatest social evil, since it treated millions of people as sub-humans by the simple fact of their birth.

But even as the caste system declines in importance (in some ways), there remain those who are marginalized and downtrodden. Ambedkar, for example, resigned as law minister in post independence India when his bill to bring greater equality and property rights to women was rejected. Even today, Ambedkar’s vision is not complete. Ambedkar was a modernist, a rationalist, a believer in the principles of liberty, equality, and the rule of law for all, and for these reasons he remains relevant in modern India.

Assorted links

1. Against coal-based explanations of the Industrial Revolution.

2. Should a leader look intelligent or healthy?

3. Weyl and Posner on combining freer immigration with a tighter caste system.

4. The lower bound didn’t really matter until mid-2011 (an impressive and I would say definitive study).

5. The archaeology of late capitalism (Atari games on eBay).

6. Can deceptive behavior promote cooperation?

The cosmopolitan and civil libertarian core of economics

Here is my latest New York Times column, more philosophical than usual, excerpt:

Economic analysis is itself value-free, but in practice it encourages a cosmopolitan interest in natural equality. Many economic models, of course, assume that all individuals are motivated by rational self-interest or some variant thereof; even the so-called behavioral theories tweak only the fringes of a basically common, rational understanding of people. The crucial implication is this: If you treat all individuals as fundamentally the same in your theoretical constructs, it would be odd to insist that the law should suddenly start treating them differently.

At least since the 19th century, the interest of economists in personal liberty can be easily documented. In 1829, all 15 economists who held seats in the British Parliament voted to allow Roman Catholics as members. In 1858, the 13 economists in Parliament voted unanimously to extend full civil rights to Jews. (While both measures were approved, they were controversial among many non-economist members.) For many years leading up to the various abolitions of slavery, economists were generally critics of slavery and advocates of people’s natural equality, as documented by David M. Levy, professor of economics at George Mason University, and Sandra J. Peart, dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, in “The ‘Vanity of the Philosopher’: From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-Classical Economics.”

Professors Levy and Peart coined the phrase “analytical egalitarianism” to describe the underpinnings of this tradition. For example, Adam Smith cited birth and fortune, as opposed to intrinsically different capabilities, as the primary reasons for differences in social rank. And the classical economists Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill promoted equal legal and institutional rights for women long before such views were fashionable. Their utilitarian moral theories placed individuals on a par in the social calculus by asking about the greatest good for the greatest number.

There is more at the link of course, such as:

Often, economists spend their energies squabbling with one another, but arguably the more important contrast is between our broadly liberal economic worldview and the various alternatives — common around the globe — that postulate natural hierarchies of religion, ethnicity, caste and gender, often enforced by law and strict custom. Economists too often forget that we are part of this broader battle of ideas, and that we are winning some enduring victories.

I did not have the space to cover some additional questions of interest.  These include:

1. Will the move away from rational choice models, and toward a broader and larger empirical social science, including behavioral and neuro elements, nudge economics away from this heritage?

2. How much of the civil libertarian core, common among many economists, stems from the socioeconomic background of (many) current economists rather than from the economic method?

3. How do Indian economists poll on the caste system, relative to their socioeconomic peers?

4. How much will the extreme influx of non-Westerners into American and British graduate programs in economics affect the discipline in the years to come?

MRUniversity will have a course unit especially on India

This will be a special part of our opening course on Development Economics.  The topics we will cover will include:

History of the East India Company

The economics of Gandhi’s attack on the salt monopoly

Was British rule good for India?

Private education in India

Economic research on the caste system in India

The timing of Indian economic reforms and the boost in Indian economic growth, as discussed by Rodrik, DeLong, and others.

The contributions of the most famous and most important Indian economists.

Why does Kerala have such a good record when it comes to public health?

RCTs in India by Poverty Action Lab.

And much more.

Today I have a request for you.  If you have any connection with India, please spread the word of this material to other people you may know who have a connection to India.

The motto of MRU is “Learn, Teach, and Share.”  You can register for the course to come here.  Background on MRU is here.  Background on the development economics class is here.

The Growth of Justice

Justice is a key ingredient for economic growth. People will not invest if they fear that their life, liberty and property may be subject to arbitrary seizure and destruction. The rule of law and limited government provide a sphere of liberty within which individuals can make decisions with confidence that the fruits of their labor will not taken by the more powerful.

Justice is not just about legislation, however. Public and private discrimination diminish a person’s ability to individuate and develop, an ability that drives innovation and growth in the artistic, economic and scientific realms. In India the caste system binds many people to the lives of their ancestors regardless of desire, talent or will. In parts of the world half the population is subjugated and bound to a limited vision of their life, a vision which is not of their own making. Similar if less extreme forces have limited women and blacks in the United States.

In a pathbreaking paper, The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth, Jones, Hsieh, Hurst, and Klenow connect a micro allocation model to a macro growth model to estimate that the lifting of much discrimination in the United States since 1960 has had a large effect on economic growth:

In 1960, 94 percent of doctors were white men, as were 96 percent of lawyers and 86 percent of managers. By 2008, these numbers had fallen to 63, 61, and 57 percent, respectively. Given that innate talent for these professions is unlikely to differ between men and women or between blacks and whites, the allocation of talent in 1960 suggests that a substantial pool of innately talented black men, black women, and white women were not pursuing their comparative advantage. This paper estimates the contribution to U.S. economic growth from the changing occupational allocation of white women, black men, and black women between 1960 and 2008. We find that the contribution is significant: 17 to 20 percent of growth over this period might be explained simply by the improved allocation of talent within the United States.

In other words, the United States has benefited greatly from the growth of justice.

Does the well-off law professor have cause to complain?

This guy is the blogging topic of the weekend; his family earns $455,000 a year (addendum: this number seems not to be true) and yet he worries about his taxes going up and the resulting diminution of real income.  I think we cannot permanently extend the Bush tax cuts; nonetheless, being a contrarian, I would like to explore the question of when a wealthy person has cause to complain.  I read about this guy and his pitchfork and it genuinely scared me, especially his description of Ben Stein and his intermingling of the political and the aesthetic.

Let's say you live in a country which has some rich people, some people in the lower middle class, and some very very poor people.  Or let's say you are a non-nationalist cosmopolitan.  Or let's say they discovered the indigenous people in Alaska and New Mexico were worse off than we had thought. 

In such societies, do the "lower middle class but not very poor people" have cause to complain?  After all, some large group of others has it much, much tougher.  Doesn't everyone who might suffer a loss have a potential claim to complain?  At what percentile of wealth does your claim to complain go away or diminish?  Even if it's an exponential function, can't Henderson's complaint lie within the shaded area, small though that region may be?  Can't a rich person point out that he has a higher MU of money than a non-rich person might think?  Or must that necessarily offend others?  What kind of genuflections must he package along with that information, so as to avoid being considered offensive?

Do you have more of a right to complain about taxes if you were going to spend the money, bringing about the treasured "stimulus," noting that right now the wealthy are more inclined to spend?  Do spendthrift wealthy people have a stronger right to complain if the multiplier on their potential spending is 1.5 rather than 0.6?  Should wealthy people simply acquiesce to any policy change that leaves them in the top two percent, and keep their mouths shut in the meantime?

If you are wealthy, and complain about a pending loss, must you each time note that some people — many people — are worse off than you are?  If you read a bad complaint, and complain about it, must you note that other people are stuck reading far worse material?  Or is it OK just to complain?  What if some other country's rich people support political tyranny, or perhaps an oppressive caste system, or maybe they don't pay any taxes at all?  Can you still complain about your rich people?  Or must you put in a disclaimer that you don't really have it so bad, given that others, in other countries, are stuck with even worse rich people?

Beware of moral arguments which do not address "At which margin?"  I see a lot of attempts to lower the status of Todd Henderson, but not much real moral engagement.  

A lot of people just like to complain, and that includes complaining about the complaining of others.  

Oddly — or perhaps not – it's the people who feel they deserve their money who are the most likely to give it away.

My Conversation with Barkha Dutt

Here is the link, and here is part of the CWT summary:

Barkha joined Tyler to discuss how Westerners can gain a more complete picture of India, the misogyny still embedded in Indian society, why family law should be agnostic of religious belief, the causes of declining fertility in India, why relations between Hindus and Muslims seem to be worsening, how caste has persisted so strongly in India, the success of India’s subsidized institutes of higher education, the best city for Indian food, the power of Amar Chitra Katha’s comics, the influence of her English liberal arts education, the future of Anglo-American liberalism in India, the best ways to use Twitter, and more.

And from the conversation:

COWEN: Many outsiders have the impression that relations between Hindus and Muslims and the aggregate in India have become worse over the last 10 to 15 years. If you put aside particular actions of particular political personalities, and you try to think of a structural reason why that might be true — because normally the intuition is, people grow richer, they’re more tolerant, there’s more commercial interaction, there’s more intermingling — what would be your structural account of why, in some ways, that problem has become worse?

DUTT: You just spoke of intermingling, Tyler. I think that one of the biggest reasons for the worsening relations, or the othering, as it were, of communities that are not your own is the ghettoization of how people live. For example, if there were neighborhoods where people live cheek by jowl — that still happens, of course, in many cities, but it also happens less than it used to, and that is true. We are seeing a Muslim quarter, to give an example, or a Christian quarter in a way that we wouldn’t have before our cities were so ghettoized.

I think that kind of intermingling, of living in the same housing societies or neighborhoods, participating in each other’s festivals as opposed to just tolerating them — those are the structural changes or shifts that we are witnessing. It’s also true that it is tougher for a person from a religious minority — in particular, an Indian Muslim — to get a house as easily as a non-Muslim. I think I would be lying if I did not acknowledge that. Also, the last point is interfaith marriages or interfaith love. This is a deeply politicized issue as well.

While I’m talking to you, in the last 24 hours in the Southern city of Hyderabad, one of our big technology hubs, we’ve had reports of a Muslim family that attacked a Hindu man for marrying a Muslim woman. In reverse, we see Muslim women also targeted all the time if they choose to marry Hindus. This is not helped by the fact that you’ve had several states now talking about what they call love jihad. That’s the phrase they use for marriages that are across religious communities, in particular between Hindus and Muslims.

The percentage of Indians marrying not just outside their religion but also outside their caste — which in Hinduism is a hierarchical system of traditional occupation that you’re born into — is woefully low. I don’t know if I remember my data correctly, but I think less than 5 percent of Indians actually marry outside of their own communities. I would need to go back to that number and check it, but that’s what I remember off the top of my head.

Those are the structural reasons: the fact that people don’t love or have relationships outside of their community, don’t live enough with people of diverse faiths, and don’t participate in each other’s lives.

We used to have this politically correct phrase called tolerance, which I actually just hate, and I keep nudging people towards the Indian military. The Indian military actually has a system of the commanding officer taking on the faith of his troops during religious prayers. The military has multireligious places of worship. It even has something called an MMG, which is not just a medium machine gun but a Mandir Masjid Gurdwara, which is all the different faiths praying together at the same place. We don’t see a lot of that kind of thing happening outside of the military.

Another survey done by Pew reinforced this when it spoke of Indians today being more like a thali than khichri. Let me just explain that. A thali is a silver tray where you get little balls of different food items. Pew found that Hindus and Muslims — when surveyed, both spoke of the need for religious diversity as being a cornerstone of India. They like the idea of India as a thali, where there were different little food items, but separate food items. The khichri is rice and lentils all mixed up and eaten with pickle. The khichri is that intermingling, the untidy overlapping.

We are just seeing less and less of that overlapping. In my opinion, that is tragic. Where there is social interdependence, where there is economic interdependence, where there is personal interdependence is when relationships thrive and flourish and get better. But when they remain ghettos, separations just tolerating each other — that, I think, remains in the realm of othering.

Recommended, interesting throughout.