caste and social stratification in medieval india pdf

Caste And Social Stratification In Medieval India Pdf

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Caste systems are closed social stratification systems in which people inherit their position and experience little mobility. Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines some or all elements of endogamy, hereditary transmission of occupation, social class, social identity, hierarchy, exclusion, and power. Caste systems have been found across the globe, in widely different cultural settings, including predominantly Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and other societies.

Louis Dumont was primarily concerned with the ideology of the caste system. His understanding of caste lays emphasis on attributes of caste that is why; he is put in the category of those following the attributional approach to the caste system. Dumont says that caste is not a form of stratification but a special form of inequality, whose essence has to be deciphered by the sociologists. Dumont views that this definition indicates the main apparent characteristics of the caste system. He describes mainly three things:.

8b. The Caste System

Louis Dumont was primarily concerned with the ideology of the caste system. His understanding of caste lays emphasis on attributes of caste that is why; he is put in the category of those following the attributional approach to the caste system. Dumont says that caste is not a form of stratification but a special form of inequality, whose essence has to be deciphered by the sociologists. Dumont views that this definition indicates the main apparent characteristics of the caste system.

He describes mainly three things:. And, if it accounts for the contrast between Brahmins and untouchables, can it account equally for the division of society into a large number of groups, themselves sometimes extremely sub-divided? He did not answer these questions directly.

But, the opposite has always been two extreme categories, i. Dumont highlights temporary and permanent impurity. For the body, the main thing is the morning attention to personal hygiene, culminating in the daily bath. Even, the objects are considered as pure and impure; silk is purer than cotton, gold than silver, than bronze, than copper.

These objects are not simply polluted by the contact but by the use to which they are put and used by the person. Now-a-days, a new garment or vessel can be received from anybody. Did not caste lose its political significance as late in the 18th and 19th centuries? He regarded this as behavioural change, rather than a radical transformation of the system as a whole, at the level of values or principles.

Home Sociology Louis Dumont on Caste. Louis Dumont on Caste. RajRAS May 29, 0. Dumont felt that the study of the caste system is useful for the knowledge of India, and it is an important task of general sociology. He focused on the need to understand the ideology of caste as reflected in the classical texts, historical examples etc. He advocated the use of an lndological and stucturalist approach to the study of caste system and village social structure in India. From this perspective, Dumont himself, in his Homo Hierarchicus, has built up a model of Indian civilization, which is based on a noncompetitive ritual hierarchical system.

Besides this, they did not have any access to Hindu temples, and suffered from various other disabilities. Dumont said that this situation was somewhat changed since the Gandhian agitation and when India attained independence. In larger areas of the world, death, birth and other such seclusion of the affected persons, for instance, the newly delivered mother was actually excluded from the church for forty days at the end of which she would present herself carrying a lighted candle and would be met at the church porch by the priest.

In India, persons affected by this kind of event are treated as impure for a prescribed period, and Indians themselves identify this impurity with that of the untouchables. In his work The History of Dharmashastra, P. According to Harika, there are three kinds of purity: Bearing of the family Kula , Objects of everyday use Artha , and The body.

There is one more category, the untouchables, who are outside the classification system. Dumont maintains that many of the lndologists confuse the Varna with caste, mainly because the classical literature is concerned almost entirely with the varnas. Caste and Varna are to be understood with relationship of hierarchy and power. An inventory of sources of change in the caste system lists judicial and political changes, social-religious reforms, westernization, and growth of modern professionals, urbanization, spatial mobility and the growth of market economy.

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Caste system in medieval india

The Caste System And Untouchability In India As India strives to make great strides in its economy and infrastructure, it is constantly reminded of its social reality that is based on an age-old caste system. The history of India has seen sporadic incidents of discrimination against a particular group of people, mostly under the attestation from the traditional systems of caste and untouchability. The most recent incident is the lynching of Dalits by cow-protection groups in Una, Gujarat. It is interesting and informative to know about the origin of such social stratification that has affected the discourse of Indian society and politics in some manner. Origins of the Caste System: The caste system as we see it today has not been pronounced in just one book; infact it has been shaped by multiple texts.

Sociologists distinguish between two types of systems of stratification. Closed systems accommodate little change in social position. They do not allow people to shift levels and do not permit social relationships between levels. Open systems , which are based on achievement, allow movement and interaction between layers and classes. Different systems reflect, emphasize, and foster certain cultural values and shape individual beliefs. Stratification systems include class systems and caste systems, as well as meritocracy. India used to have a rigid caste system.

Capitalism and the Social Relationship pp Cite as. Weber argued that the irrational approach of Indian religious traditions, consisting of such dogmas as the samsara illusionary world and karma doctrine of divine compensation , created a system that was highly traditional and progress-inhibiting Weber, , p. He argued that the two dogmas together gave rise to a system that was anti-capitalistic in nature. Skip to main content Skip to sections. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. Advertisement Hide.


economic and political power enjoys the highest social honor. It applies to antiquity,. medieval society, and capitalism in the West, as well as to.


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If a Hindu person were asked to explain the nature of the caste system, he or she might start to tell the story of Brahma — the four-headed, four-handed deity worshipped as the creator of the universe. According to an ancient text known as the Rigveda, the division of Indian society was based on Brahma's divine manifestation of four groups. Priests and teachers were cast from his mouth, rulers and warriors from his arms, merchants and traders from his thighs, and workers and peasants from his feet. Others might present a biological explanation of India's stratification system, based on the notion that all living things inherit a particular set of qualities. Some inherit wisdom and intelligence, some get pride and passion, and others are stuck with less fortunate traits.

The caste system is one of the unique features in Indian Society. Its root can be traced back to thousands of years. Thus, caste is concerned with birth. There are many theories like traditional, racial, political, occupational, evolutionary etc which try to explain the caste system in India. According to this theory, the caste system is of divine origin.

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Caste and Social Stratification in Medieval India. Page 6 no trouble about the breaking up and division of kingdoms, while the village remains entire, they care​.

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