Caste and its characteristics

The caste system is highly complex in nature. The following have been the main traditional features of the caste system.

Caste and its characteristics

Varna Hinduism Varna literally means type, order, colour or class [17] [18] and was a framework for grouping people into classes, first used in Vedic Indian society.

Caste and its characteristics

It is referred to frequently in the ancient Indian texts. There are four varnas but thousands of jatis. This view has been disputed by other scholars, who believe it to be a secular social phenomenon driven by the necessities of economics, politics, and sometimes also geography.

Caste The term caste is not originally Caste and its characteristics Indian word, though it is now widely used, both in English and in Indian languages.

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Ghurye wrote in that, despite much study by many people, we do not possess a real general definition of caste.

It appears to me that any attempt at definition is bound to fail because of the complexity of the phenomenon. On the other hand, much literature on the subject is marred by lack of precision about the use of the term.

His model definition for caste included the following six characteristics, [32] Segmentation of society into groups whose membership was determined by birth [33] A hierarchical system wherein generally the Brahmins were at the head of the hierarchy, but this hierarchy was disputed in some cases.

In various linguistic areas, hundreds of castes had a gradation generally acknowledged by everyone [34] Restrictions on feeding and social intercourse, with minute rules on the kind of food and drink that upper castes could accept from lower castes.

There was a great diversity in these rules, and lower castes generally accepted food from upper castes [35] Segregation, where individual castes lived together, the dominant caste living in the center and other castes living on the periphery.

Caste and its characteristics

This characteristic of caste was missing from large parts of India, stated Ghurye, and in these regions all four castes Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras did agriculture labour or became warriors in large numbers [39] Endogamyrestrictions on marrying a person outside caste, but in some situations hypergamy allowed.

Risley[45] and for fitting his definition to then prevalent colonial orientalist perspectives on caste. For example, for some early European documenters it was thought to correspond with the endogamous varnas referred to in ancient Indian scripts, and its meaning corresponds in the sense of estates.

To later Europeans of the Raj era it was endogamous jatis, rather than varnas, that represented caste, such as the jatis that colonial administrators classified by occupation in the early 20th century.

The name stuck and became the usual word for the Hindu social group. This is a false terminology; castes rise and fall in the social scale, and old castes die out and new ones are formed, but the four great classes are stable. There are never more or less than four and for over 2, years their order of precedence has not altered.

Varna represents a closed collection of social orders whereas jati is entirely open-ended, thought of as a "natural kind whose members share a common substance.

Thus, "Caste" is not an accurate representation of jati in English. Better terms would be ethnicity, ethnic identity and ethnic group. Flexibility Sociologist Anne Waldrop observes that while outsiders view the term caste as a static phenomenon of stereotypical tradition-bound India, empirical facts suggest caste has been a radically changing feature.

The term means different things to different Indians. In the context of politically active modern India, where job and school quotas are reserved for affirmative action based on castes, the term has become a sensitive and controversial subject.

Srinivas and Damle have debated the question of rigidity in caste and believe that there is considerable flexibility and mobility in the caste hierarchies.

Perspectives There are at least two perspectives for the origins of the caste system in ancient and medieval India, which focus on either ideological factors or on socio-economic factors.

The first school focuses on the ideological factors which are claimed to drive the caste system and holds that caste is rooted in the four varnas.

This perspective was particularly common among scholars of the British colonial era and was articulated by Dumont, who concluded that the system was ideologically perfected several thousand years ago and has remained the primary social reality ever since.

This school justifies its theory primarily by citing the ancient law book Manusmriti and disregards economic, political or historical evidence.

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It believes caste to be rooted in the economic, political and material history of India. Hartcentral aspects of the later Indian caste system may originate from the ritual kingship system prior to the arrival of Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism in India.

The system is seen in the South Indian Tamil literature from the Sangam perioddated to the third to sixth centuries CE. According to Hart, it may be this model that provided the concerns with "pollution" of the members of low status groups.casting characteristics were the alloys’ tendencies towards die soldering and sludge formation, and the alloys’ fluidity (flowability) and machinability.

Soldering often occurs between aluminum alloys and ferrous die material and is a major problem in die In caste system, there is an unequal distribution of privileges and restrictions among its members.

Generally, the higher caste people enjoy all the privileges and the lower caste people are put to all kinds of restrictions.

Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development was a paper read by B. R. Ambedkar at an anthropological seminar of Alexander Goldenweiser in New York on 9 May Nesfield states that 'absence of messing' with those outside the Caste is one of its characteristics, but Nesfield has mistaken the effect of the cause, as caste is a. of the Indian caste system and its effects on India today. The caste system is a classification of people into four hierarchically ranked castes called varnas. Main features of caste system,Social Stratification,Sociology Guide Each caste has its own customs, traditions practices and has its own informal rules, regulations and procedures. The caste panchayats or the caste councils regulate the conduct of members. The caste system has imposed certain restrictions on the food habitats of.

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution.[1][2] Its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of India's Hindu society into rigid social groups, with roots.

Oct 17,  · Define caste and tell its characteristics. Caste Caste is a socially ascribed status which is the name of those groups of individuals who have common ancestors and have same profession.

Caste is a permanent social group and is a source of recognition of an individual. The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste. It has origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj.

Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development was a paper read by B. R. Ambedkar at an anthropological seminar of Alexander Goldenweiser in New York on 9 May Nesfield states that 'absence of messing' with those outside the Caste is one of its characteristics, but Nesfield has mistaken the effect of the cause, as caste is a.

13 Important Characteristics of Our Caste System | India