The seminar seeks to understand the variety of social structures on the local level of villages in contemporary India. Instead of complying with a uniform model, India’s villages present a puzzling diversity of structures. Even caste is not a universal institution, since many villages of various minorities are not structured according to caste; and caste does not mean the same thing in each village where it is present. The seminar will discuss major village studies in order to grasp some of the most important versions of social structure in Indian villages: from matriarchal to patriarchal structures, from extreme inequality and violence to basic egalitarianism, from homogeneous to multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multilingual villages of all regions of India. The structures will be situated in the framework of colonial transformation, Indian nationalism and contemporary globalization.