Decolonizing Psychology Requires a Critical Psychology of Caste

A new special issue delves into the psychological dimensions of caste, advocating for a transformative critical psychology approach to address deep-rooted social injustices.


Mainstream psychological science has largely ignored the psychological underpinnings of caste despite its impact on individuals and communities globally. However, in a step towards decolonizing psychological science, a recent special issue of Caste: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion advocates for the establishment of a critical psychology of caste.

Edited by Yashpal Jogdand, the issue highlights the historical and contemporary relevance of caste in psychological research and calls for a collective endeavor to develop a new field of study—critical psychology of caste—that would bring together divergent perspectives and contributions addressing the psychological dimensions of caste. This interdisciplinary approach, Jogdand argues, is essential to understanding and dismantling the deep-seated social inequities perpetuated by casteism.

“White supremacy is maintained in psychology by  ‘conversational silencing’  in which the realities of racism and the operation of power are ignored under the guise of doing good science,” Jogdand writes. “Overall, psychology has worked as a technique for legitimizing racism and ignoring power inequalities and structural determinants of human oppression.”

You've landed on a MIA journalism article that is funded by MIA supporters. To read the full article, sign up as a MIA Supporter. All active donors get full access to all MIA content, and free passes to all Mad in America events.

Current MIA supporters can log in below.(If you can't afford to support MIA in this way, email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to all donor-supported content.)



  1. You don’t see that a critical psychology of caste is innately hypocritical because it is itself a form of class violence and intellectually and egoistically profiteering out of the lower cast which you seek to dominate intellectually from your ossified, ivory tower. Obviously critical psychology of caste is an intellectual discourse, while the actual living psychology of the people in the cast system you refer to is the actual, the fact, the truth of the psychology of caste but you will never discover it because you will never efface yourself before the object of your research because THEY are the object and YOU are the subject. But the only truth of psychology is the subjective truth, which means studying members of a caste not as objects but as subjects, which means listening to and understanding THEM. But academic researchers approach them through distorting conceptual lenses and translate what they see into intellectual idioms far removed from the reality of the people they purport to be in some way illuminating rather then converting into a bunch of theories that can only be used to exploit and pervert the way we see reality. How they see reality is the truth, your critical psychology of caste is an intellectual layer of the false, the untrue, the mere representation taken as fact.

    In actual fact identities are profoundly more complex in Indian society then caste. There are religious, local. familial, linguistic and cultural patterns of identity that go way beyond caste, and so seeing identity through such a narrow prism of caste construes a totally fictitious, merely theoretical perverting and distorting lense over reality that makes true understanding impossible. Only the unprejudiced observation of what is as it is has any value, and only a particular member of a caste can observe the primary phenomena in question. It is therefore our own self-understanding and self-observation that has any value, and this was the roots of psychology. Psychology stepped out of the sujective position and into the armchair watching the person as an object, and to still call this psychology is a travesty because you can only see the distorted and repressed behavioural manifestations of the underlying psychology which you no longer enquire into at all, regarding them all as unreliable narrators. So something that almost all Indians naturally do much more then us in the West, because there culture and science and religion was based on consciousness, on the subject, was the understanding of oneself through meditation, not playing intellectually with words and deluding yourself that your some kind of expert in something you have never even had direct contact with at all.

    All your intellectual efforts are WORTHLESS. The TRUTH cannot be touched by the intellect. It has to be seen, and I don’t see Universities doing allot of seeing and understanding these days. They have that fraudulent, parrot learning of words and theories and otherwise can’t see their hands in front of their faces. Alas, society calls you the experts and therefore destroys the collective intelligence of humanity.

    Report comment