india today

Topics: Social class, Sociology, India Pages: 3 (601 words) Published: October 7, 2013

Thesis statement: The purpose of this paper discuss what role does the caste system play in India today?

The word “caste” finds its origin in the Portuguese word “casta” which means “race” or “breed”. Thus caste basically means people belonging to the same breed. According to E.A.G. Blunt, ‘caste is an endogamous group or collection of endogamous groups, bearing a common name, membership of which is hereditary; imposing on its members certain restrictions in the matter of social intercourse; either following a common traditional occupation or claiming a common origin; and generally regarded as forming a single homogeneous community.’  

    In India, there are four castes or varnas viz., Brahmins (priests, scholars, and teachers), Kshatriyas (ruling nobility and soldiers), Vaishyas (merchants, traders and other producers) and Shudras (laborers, servants, etc) respectively.     Like all the other societies Indian Society is also stratified on many grounds especially on the basis of Caste which is unique in India.

    Social stratification in India has been based on caste system from a long historical period. In spite of tremendous changes in the social background, Caste as an institution has not only survived, but continued in India. It is playing a very important role in Indian social structure especially in political democracy. It also has a very special aspect of study of the problem of scheduled castes and the untouchables.

Caste is the most important factor in the understanding of Indian society. Caste as a basis of social stratification is found in all communities in India especially amongst the Hindus. Thus, as a system of social stratification it is at the root of the Indian social structure. Caste I not an achieving factor but it is acquired by birth Today, the modern society is based on the class system more than the caste system. The...

Cited: Source:
Fuller C, Narasimhan H. Companionate marriage in India: the changing marriage system in a middle-class Brahman subcaste. Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute [serial online]. December 2008;14(4):736-754. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 14, 2012.
Fuller, C. J., & Narasimhan, H. (2008). Companionate marriage in India: the changing marriage system in a middle-class Brahman subcaste. Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute, 14(4), 736-754. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.00528.x
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