IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jdevst/v48y2012i7p887-903.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Social Identity and Educational Attainment: The Role of Caste and Religion in Explaining Differences between Children in India

Author

Listed:
  • Vani K. Borooah

Abstract

The aim of this article is to gauge the size of the educational gap between children, aged 8--11 years, belonging to the different social groups in India. It is well established that educational attainments vary considerably between India's caste and religious groups with Muslims, Dalits (the Scheduled Castes), Adivasis (the Scheduled Tribes), and the ‘Other Backward Classes’ (the OBC) being the most backward. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey of 2005 -- which tested over 12,300 children, aged 8--11, for their ability to read, write, and do arithmetic at different levels of competence -- this study examines inequalities within social groups in the test scores of children to argue that inter-group comparisons of educational attainment should take into account not just the mean level of achievement of the children in a group but, also, the degree of inequality in the distribution of achievements between children in the group. The article then proceeds to enquire why different children have different levels of educational achievement. The central conclusion is that, after controlling for a number of parental, household and school-related factors, children from all the different social groups, when compared to Brahmin children, were disadvantaged, in some or all of the three competencies of reading, arithmetic, and writing. However, this disadvantage was greatest for Muslim, Dalit, and Adivasi children. These children were disadvantaged with respect to all three competencies and their disadvantage embraced failure as well as success. Using a decomposition analysis, the article quantifies the ‘structural advantage’ that Brahmin and High Caste children enjoyed over their Dalit and Muslim counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Vani K. Borooah, 2011. "Social Identity and Educational Attainment: The Role of Caste and Religion in Explaining Differences between Children in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 887-903, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:7:p:887-903
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.621945
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220388.2011.621945
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:7:p:887-903. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/FJDS20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.