If you want to get a sense for how complex the caste system is in India, all you need to do is look at how caste was coded in CSDS’/Lokniti’s 2010 Bihar state election survey. Here’s the portion of the codebook related to caste. The full codebook is here.
Take a look at it. Hundreds and hundreds of individual names that need to be sorted within hundreds of castes which fit into broader categories. And this is just for one state. Imagine how much more complex it is for national surveys that include all twenty-nine states. My Lokniti colleagues say that they rely on the regional field teams in each state for information about how to sort the various castes. They would like to weight their samples to caste data from the 2011 census, but those data have not yet been released to the public (more on that decision at the bottom of this post).
This beautiful song almost shares my name
Not related to surveys or India, but this was passed on from a friend and it is such a beautiful song that I felt I had to share it. The band, Balmorhea, is an instrumentalist ensemble that hails from Austin, Texas. The song is named for San Solomon Springs, which can be found in east Texas.