The Lifestyles Of Different Social Clas

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Social stratification Pages: 3 (825 words) Published: January 13, 2015
The Lifestyles of Different Social Classes in Classical India and China Classical China and India both had very defined social structures made up of peasants, merchants, and elites. The lifestyles of these classes shared some similarities and differences between the two societies. Each level’s role was affected by their civilization’s religion, government, and economy. The variations of jobs and wealth in this hierarchy also resulted in a varying levels of respect and prestige. Peasants are perhaps the most important members of a society; they perform many of the jobs that are vital to supporting a large population. But, they are the poorest and usually own little to no land and thus, have no power. Therefore they have usually been the lowest ranking in a society throughout history, and classical China and India are no exception. However, of the two societies, India’s peasants had a much better lifestyle than China’s. In India, social structure was based on the caste system. The caste system was a very strict system of separating classes, allowing very little room to improve and prohibiting most interaction between separate classes. This may seem like a negative for the peasants, but their separation from the higher caste levels actually reduced conflict and promoted tolerance. China’s society was heavily influenced by the philosophy of Confucianism, which required Chinese peasants to show a great amount of restraint and focus on detailed etiquette around their superiors. They also had to deal with land lords who had partial control of their land because the levels of Chinese society were not as separate. Peasants in both cultures had very little hope of improving their class (because it was hereditary), but it was possible through extraordinary talent or gaining wealth. They also lived very hard lives full of intense labor in both cultures. As agricultural societies, China and India had a heavy reliance on their peasant class, which made up most of their...
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