Caste and the Caste System

Advertisements

Topics

  • Indian Society
  • Structural Change
    • Introduction to Structural Change
    • Understanding Colonialism
    • Urbanisation and Industrialisation
  • Introducing Indian Society
    • Introduction to Indian Society
  • Demographic Structure and Indian Society
    • Introduction to the Demographic Structure of the Indian Society
    • Some Theories and Concepts in Demography
    • Size and Growth of India’s Population
    • Age Structure of the Indian Population
    • The Declining Sex-ratio in India
    • Literacy
    • Rural-urban Differences
    • Population Policy in India
  • Social Change and Development in India
  • Cultural Change
    • Introduction to Cultural Change
    • Social Reform Movements in the 19th and Early 20th Century
    • How Do We Approach the Study of Sanskritisation, Modernisation, Secularisation and Westernisation
    • Different Kinds of Social Change
  • The Story of Indian Democracy
    • Introduction to the Story of Indian Democracy
    • The Indian Constitution
    • The Panchayati Raj and the Challenges of Rural Social Transformation
    • Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Democratic Politics
  • Social Institutions - Continuity and Change
  • Market as a Social Institution
    • Introduction to the Market as a Social Institution
    • Sociological Perspectives on Markets and the Economy
    • Understanding Capitalism as a Social System
    • Globalisation – Interlinking of Local, Regional, National and International Markets
  • Change and Development in Rural Society
    • Introduction to Change and Development in Rural Society
    • Agrarian Structure: Caste and Class in Rural India
    • The Impact of Land Reforms
    • The Green Revolution and Its Social Consequences
    • Transformations in Rural Society After Independence
    • Circulation of Labour
    • Globalisation, Liberalisation, and Rural Society
  • Pattern of Social Inquality and Exclusion
    • Introduction to Pattern of Social Inquality and Exclusion
    • What is Social About Social Inequality and Exclusion?
    • Caste and Tribe – Systems Justifying and Perpetuating Inequality
    • Struggle for Women’s Equality and Rights
    • The Struggles of the Disabled
  • Change and Development in Industrial Society
    • Introduction to Change and Development in Industrial Society
    • Images of Industrial Society
    • Industrialisation in India
    • How People Find Jobs
    • How is Work Carried Out?
    • Working Conditions
    • Home-based Work
    • Strikes and Unions
  • The Challenges of Cultural Diversity
    • Introduction to the Challenges of Cultural Diversity
    • Cultural Communities and the Nation-state
    • Regionalism in the Indian Context
    • The Nation-state and Religion-related Issues and Identities
    • State and Civil Society
  • Globalisation and Social Change
    • Introduction to Globalisation and Social Change
    • Are Global Interconnections New to World and to India
    • Understanding Globalisation
  • Mass Media and Communication Process
    • Introduction to Mass Media and Communication Process
    • The Beginnings of Modern Mass Media
    • Mass Media in Independent India
    • Globalisation and the Media
  • Suggestions for Project Work
    • Variety of Methods
    • Possible Themes and Subjects for Small Research Projects
  • Social Movements
    • Introduction to Social Movements
    • Features of a Social Movement
    • Sociology and Social Movements
    • Types of Social Movements
    • Ecological Movements
    • Class Based Movements
    • Caste Based Movements
    • The Tribal Movements
    • Womens’ Movement in India
  • Introduction of Caste
  • Definitions of Caste
  • Caste in the Past
  • Colonialism and Caste
  • Caste in the Present

Definition

H. H. Risley: “Caste is collection of families or group of families bearing a common name, claiming a common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine; professing to follow the same hereditary calling and regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as forming a single homogeneous community.”

George Lundberg: “A caste is merely a rigid social class into which members are born and from which they can withdraw or escape only with extreme difficulty.”

 S. V. Ketkar: “A caste is a group having two characteristics-  i) membership is confined to those who are born of members and include all persons so born, ii) the membership is forbidden by an inexorable social law to men outside the group.”

Notes

Introduction of Caste:

In traditional Indian society, different castes formed a hierarchy of social preference. Each position in the caste structure is defined in terms of its ‘purity and pollution.’ In a caste stratification system, an individual’s position depends on the status attributes ascribed by birth. Therefore, caste is the closed form of social stratification. It is specifically a pan-Indian characteristic. The word ‘caste’ owes its origin to the Spanish word ‘casta’ which means breed or race. The Portuguese applied this term to the classes of people in India, known by the name of ‘jati’. Caste is an example of a closed system of stratification. In contemporary societies, caste system is changing. 

Definitions of Caste:

H. H. Risley: “Caste is collection of families or group of families bearing a common name, claiming common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine; professing to follow the same hereditary calling and regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as forming a single homogeneous community.”

George Lundberg: “A caste is merely a rigid social class into which members are born and from which they can withdraw or escape only with extreme difficulty.”

 S. V. Ketkar: “A caste is a group having two characteristics-  i) membership is confined to those who are born of members and include all persons so born, ii) the membership is forbidden by inexorable social law to men outside the group.”

If you would like to contribute notes or other learning material, please submit them using the button below.
Advertisements
Share
Notifications



      Forgot password?
Use app×