UBC Anth Colloquia: Alpa Shah

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2019 | 5:00-6:30 pm

Room 120   |  C. K. Choi Building, 1855 West Mall

Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Class, Caste and Inequality in 21st Century India

Please RSVP here.


Why has India’s astonishing economic growth not reached the people at the bottom of its social and economic hierarchy? Travelling the length and breadth of the subcontinent, this book shows how India’s ‘untouchables’ and ‘tribals’ fit into the global economy.

India’s Dalit and Adivasi communities make up a staggering one in twenty-five people across the globe and yet they remain amongst the most oppressed. Conceived in dialogue with economists, the impact of global capitalism on their lives. It shows how capitalism entrenches, rather than erases, social difference and has transformed traditional forms of identity-based discrimination into new mechanisms of exploitation and oppression.

Through studies of the working poor, migrant labour and the conjugated oppression of caste, tribe, region, gender and class relations, the social inequalities generated by capitalism are exposed.


Alpa Shah was raised in Nairobi, read Geography at Cambridge and completed her PhD in Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where she now teaches as Associate Professor. Her most recent book Nightmarch was shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing and New India Foundation Book Prize and on several 2018 Best Books list of the Hindu newspaper.

She has reported for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service and co-curated the photo exhibition, Behind the Indian Boom.