Finally, the caste system contained the Shudras (laborers and workers). Outside of the caste systems was a group called the Untouchables (Achuta). The untouchables were outcasts in society and were n... ... middle of paper ... ...nd Andean social class structure depended on tight family/government ties, religious leaders, and physical service. While categorizing individuals by race, class, or occupation seem wrong, in reality it provide structure and organization to any society. The cultures of Hindu India, Medieval Europe, and Mesoamerica used social class for those exact reasons.
This caste system impacts much of Hindu history, society and culture to a level unknown anywhere else. However, the most apparent problem with this system is that under its strict rigidity, the lower castes were prevented from endeavoring to climb higher, and as such, economic progress was limited. It’s my assertion that a rigid system of structural inequality maintained through strict enforcement and social exclusion, is incompatible with a religion which claims to promote inclusion, peace and unity.
Sometimes these rules are made into laws. However, more often than not, they are simply accepted by the members of a society. In complex societies such the Classic Maya, Incas and the Aztec, complexity denotes qualities of hierarchical differentiation (Adams, 2001). Combined evidence from archaeology, art, history and ethno history have shown that the Classic Maya society was stratified into two basic classes. These classes were the elite and non-elite (Sharer, 2006).
The Caste system in India By Ruchita Patel Professor Weingart Religions of the World 11 November 2014 The Caste system in India India is known for the diversity of the Caste System with different languages, different religious traditions, practices and a system of beliefs. The Caste System is very important part of the Hindu tradition because it is a historically important aspect into which people live in India, follow different religions, tribes, languages and belief. Nowadays, there are so many sub-caste systems in India. Caste identity is determined based on social status, given the rank based on hierarchical order and social stratification of the caste system. Caste identity is also associated with social advantage or disadvantage
However, as a consequence of classifying people into various social categories with different roles and interests, many inequalities have surfaced. In essence, these inequalities are a result of the value and influence that each stratum carries in the society as a whole. The social cast system in India is a form of social stratification that originates from the Hindu religion. Due to the religious belief in karma, this system is composed of “closed social [classes]… in which the membership is determined by birth and fixed for life” (Haviland, 2008; 259). In other words, the upward mobility for people of a lower cast into a higher cast is nearly impossible due to the fundamental belief that cast is determined by “ritual purity” or, the amount of religious influence in accordance with prestige held by each group (Haviland, 2008; 259).
The caste system in India is elaborately structured to have an Indian touch to it, clearly distinguishing it from social structures worldwide. Caste is a word often used to describe a cluster of people who have a specific rank in the society. Each caste system is elaborately crafted to suit the needs of the society and they vary from group to group; each has its own rules and customs. Different chaste systems are planned in a hierarchical manner to become part of any of the four basic colors; varnas (a Sanskrit word for color). These include; the varna of Brahmans, identified with the learned class and priests; varna of Kshatriyas, which is encompasses warriors, rulers and property owners, the varna of Vaishyas, which attracts traders ; and lastly the varna of Shudras, who are servile laborers (Bayly, 1999).
In Hindu society, caste divisions play a part in both actual social interactions and in the ideal scheme of values. The Indian Caste System is a classification of people into four hierarchically ranked castes. They are categorized according to employment and determine one’s ability to gain power, wealth, and privilege. The Indian Caste System is traditionally one of the key dimensions where Indian’s are socially discriminated through region, religion, and class. This system becomes problematic when one or more of these dimensions overlap each other and become the main foundation of ranking and allows for unequal access to valued resources like wealth, revenue, authority, and respect.
It is in this sense that we may speak of the caste system as a phenomenon peculiar to India” (Pocock 1974: 228). However, despite the criticism, the American class system has similarly limited its members. The class system found in the United States and the Hindu caste system of India share many common characteristics, but, at the same time, they are different in many ways. A caste system is a system that restricts its members occupationally and socially, and it is typically unacceptable for members to marry outside of their own caste. This system often devalues its members according to their family history and status, with purity being the foremost concern leading to the creation of separate castes (Singh 2008: 121-122).
In each society, there are different types of rules and ideologies that are used in order to help govern its people. Within these communities, these rules create a social hierarchy developed through a ranked system based on either economic value or religious beliefs. A type of ranked system that most people are familiar with is the Caste System in India, which is a system of classification in a society based on birth. This complex social structure is most prevalent in India, where social hierarchy is in affiliation with Hinduism. It recognizes two concepts known as Varna and Jati.
It would seem that the Dalit due to their “untouchable” status would fall in the lowest tier of the caste system. However, the word Dalit literally means “Divided.” The Dalit are literally divided from the Hindu caste system. The primary reason for this division is due to the aforementioned “unclean” nature of Dalit occupations. Most Dalit make their living working as sewer workers, janitors, garbage collectors, and leather workers. Even Hindu texts such as the Manusmriti brand them as “polluted” and “unclean” from birth.