Critical race theory in India: theory translation and the analysis of social identities and discrimination in Indian schooling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines ethical and philosophical considerations in theory translation, i.e. translating a theoretical framework from its original place to another national context. Critical race theory (CRT) was developed in the United States through significant struggle in order to analyze everyday racism. Marginalized groups have historically shared postcolonial critiques, conceptualizations of social justice, and methods for mass resistance across national borders. Through an analysis of the literature on CRT and contemporary India, this article explores whether CRT’s principles and methodology can be employed to research discrimination within India’s school system. Can CRT be sensitive to the differences in context and still retain its philosophical center? This analysis reveals that CRT may be particularly helpful in highlighting the educational discrimination experienced by Dalits via use of CRT’s social construction thesis to conceptualize caste and intersectionality to understand caste’s relationship to gender and class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-683
Number of pages19
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • caste
  • Critical race theory
  • India
  • school education
  • theory translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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