User:Fowler&fowler/Tertiary sources on Caste
Some tertiary sources published within the last 25 years on the subject of "caste"
- Oxford English Dictionary ("caste, n.", Oxford English Dictionary, Second edition; online version June 2012, Oxford University Press, 1989, retrieved 05 August 2012 Check date values in:
caste, n. 2a. spec. One of the several hereditary classes into which society in India has from time immemorial been divided; ... This is now the leading sense, which influences all others.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary ("caste", Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, Merriam-Webster, 2002, retrieved 5 August 2012).
caste n. 1 obsolete : .... 2 : one of the hereditary classes into which the society of India is divided in accordance with a system fundamental in Hinduism, reaching back into distant antiquity, ....
- Barnard, Alan (2002), Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Taylor & Francis, pp. 136–137, ISBN 978-0-415-28558-2
Caste: Caste has been described as the fundamental social institution of India. Sometimes the term is used metaphorically to refer to rigid social distinctions or extreme social exclusiveness wherever found, and some authorities have used the term 'colour-caste system' to describe the stratification based on race in the United States and elsewhere. But it is among the Hindus in India that we find the system in its most fully developed form, ...
- Kuper, Adam; Kuper, Jessica (2003), Social Science Encyclopedia, Taylor & Francis, p. 131, ISBN 978-0-415-28560-5
Caste systems have been defined in the most general terms as systems of hierarchically ordered endogamous units in which membership is hereditary and permanent (e.g. Berreman 1960). On such a definition a whole range of rigidly stratified societies would be characterized by caste—Japan, for example, or certain Polynesian and East African societies, or the racially divided world of the American Deep South. Hindu India is generally taken as the paradigmatic example. Many scholars would argue, however, that the difference between this case and the others are far more significant than the similarities, and that the term caste should properly be applied only to this context. ...
- Madan, T. N.; Editors (2012), caste, Encyclopæida Britannica Online
caste, any of the ranked, hereditary, endogamous social groups, often linked with occupation, that together constitute traditional societies in South Asia, particularly among Hindus in India. Although sometimes used to designate similar groups in other societies, the “caste system” is uniquely developed in Hindu societies.
- "caste", Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition, 2012
caste [Port., casta=basket], ranked groups based on heredity within rigid systems of social stratification, especially those that constitute Hindu India. Some scholars, in fact, deny that true caste systems are found outside India. ...
- "Caste", International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2008
Caste: Nearly all societies have had some form of social stratification, whether ascriptive or achieved, based on race, class, religion, ethnicity, language, education, or occupation. The Hindu ascriptive caste system in India is perhaps the most complex and rigid. It is based on birth, which determines one’s occupation (especially in contemporary rural India), and is maintained by endogamy, commensality, rituals, dietary practices, and norms of purity and pollution. The English term caste is derived from the Portuguese word casta, which refers to lineage, breed, or race. ... (The remaining sections of the article are: THE HINDU CASTE SYSTEM, CASTE IN MODERN INDIA, SOME VISIBLE CHANGES IN CASTE RELATIONS, OTHER RELIGIONS AND CASTE, CASTE OUTSIDE INDIA)
- O'Brien, Jodi (2008), Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, SAGE, pp. 114–117, ISBN 978-1-4129-0916-7
Caste: Caste is a form of social organization that is unique to India and is based on Hindu religious belief. This essay defines the meaning of the caste system and describes the ways in which it has been used to control sexuality, marital status, and economic and social life among women in India. ....
- Schaefer, Richard T. (2008), Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, SAGE, pp. 246–, ISBN 978-1-4129-2694-2, retrieved 5 August 2012
Caste: What makes Indian society unique is the phenomenon of caste. Economic, religious, and linguistic differentiations, even race-based discrimination, are known elsewhere, but nowhere else does one see caste but in India (and, by extension, the subcontinent). This entry reviews the history of caste and discusses its impact on individuals and society.
- Leonard, Thomas M. (editor) (2006), Encyclopedia of the Developing World, Taylor & Francis, pp. 252–, ISBN 978-0-415-97662-6, retrieved 5 August 2012
CASTE SYSTEMS Caste is an age-old institution, evoked through several centuries. As a system of stratification, it has existed in many parts of the world and is being practiced today in some countries. But the caste system of closed endogamous descent groups as prevalent and practiced in India is not found elsewhere (Bayly 2010; Kolenda 1984). Caste is a well-entrenched phenomenon in countries like India. ...
- "Caste", Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, Merriam-Webster Inc, 1999-09-01, p. 459, ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0
CASTE, group of people having a specific social rank, defined generally by descent, marriage, commensality, and occupation. Although the term caste is applied to hierarchically ranked groups in many different societies around the world, the caste system in its most developed form is found in India. .... (Note: the rest of the article describes the caste system in India.)
- Forsyth, Tim (2004), Encyclopedia of International Development, Routledge, p. 63, ISBN 978-0-415-25342-0
Caste The jati (caste) system, which evolved during the Vedic period (1500–500 BCE), of Hinduism refers to the endogamous social groups comprising contemporary and Vedic Hindu society and the rules of behavior that govern interaction between these groups. ... (Note: after six long paragraphs on India) Finally, while caste is distinctively Indian in origin, social scientists also often use it to describe inflexible social barriers in other contexts.
- Christensen, Karen; Levinson, David (2003), Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World, SAGE, pp. 115–, ISBN 978-0-7619-2598-9, retrieved 5 August 2012
Caste: The term caste is derived from casta, a word used by the Portuguese to describe the Hindu religious system. The caste system categorizes people into various hierarchical levels, which determine and define their social, religious, and hegemonic standings within the society. ... A classic example of the caste system is the one found in India, which has existed there for hundreds of years.
- Kramarae, Cheris; Spender, Dale (2000), Routledge international encyclopedia of women: global women's issues and knowledge, Taylor & Francis, pp. 142–144, ISBN 978-0-415-92088-9, retrieved 5 August 2012
Caste: Caste is a hierarchical, hegemonic ranking of social groups found predominantly on the Indian subcontinent. A word of Portuguese and Spanish origin ....
- Junius P. Rodriguez (1997), The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, p. 133, ISBN 978-0-87436-885-7, retrieved 5 August 2012
Caste: There is a strenuous argument among social scientists over whether the word "caste" can be used anywhere other than in referring to India. The major characteristics of India's caste system are that castes are hereditary, ranked hierarchically, religiously based, theoretically rigid, endogamous, tied to occupations, and politically supported. Additionally, there are rules of ritual purity to prevent or cleanse contamination.
- Note: This 1968 article is now superseded by the 2008 edition of the encyclopedia (see above): "caste", International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1968
Section 1: Concept of Caste (Berreman): The term “caste” has been widely used to describe ranked groups within rigid systems of social stratification and especially those which constitute the society of Hindu India. Debate over whether castes are found outside of India has intensified with increased knowledge and understanding of the Indian caste system. Among social scientists, and especially among those who have worked in India, there are basically two views: (1) that the caste system is to be defined in terms of its Hindu attributes and rationale and, therefore, is unique to India or at least to south Asia; (2) that the caste system is to be defined in terms of structural features which are found not only in Hindu India but in a number of other societies as well. Those who hold the latter view find caste groups in such widely scattered areas as the Arabian Peninsula, Polynesia, north Africa, east Africa, Guatemala, Japan, aboriginal North America, and the contemporary United States. ... Section 2: Indian Caste System (Mayer): The term “caste” is used to designate each unit in the hierarchically arranged organic systems of closed groups to be found on the Indian subcontinent. Besides this, it has been applied to the classical division of Hindu society and to systems of ranked and closed populations found outside India. ...
- Nanda, Serena; Warms, Richard L. (2010), Cultural Anthropology, Cengage Learning, pp. 282–, ISBN 978-0-495-81083-4, retrieved 10 August 2012
Caste systems exist in various cultures; in many West African societies blacksmiths, praise-singers, and leather workers function as endogamous castes. In traditional European society peasants and nobility were endogamous castes and in Japan the Burakumin people, who were set apart based on their participation in "unclean" occupations, represented a caste, although they were defined in racial terms. Indeed, before the 1950s era of expanding civil rights, black/white relations in the American South also incorporated many elements of a caste system. The ascribed status of race prohibited people from intermarrying, eating together, and interacting with each other in ways very similar to those of a caste system (Dollard 1937). Most frequently however, caste is identified with India, where it is deeply and historically embedded in culture and plays a central role in social stratification. Caste system in India The unique elements of the Indian caste system are its complexity ...
- Eller, Jack David (2009), Cultural Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives, Taylor & Francis, pp. 203–204, ISBN 978-0-415-48538-8, retrieved 11 August 2012
The best-known closed or caste system is that of India, in which caste membership is ascribed at birth. It would not be quite correct to say that membership is ascribed "by" birth, although usually one belongs to the caste of one's parents. However, you are not in your caste because you are born to certain parents: rather, you are born to certain parents because you are in your caste. Castes, or jatis, represent a combination of economic, kinship, political, and religious elements. You do share your caste with your kin and most immediately inherit it from them. Your occupation or economic contribution is also defined by caste: castes are, in fact, occupational groups. Beals (1980) reports that Gopalpur had fifty different jatis resident in or passing through the village, each with its own role, including priest, farmer, blacksmith, salt-maker, barber, butcher, stoneworker, leatherworker, and so on. While these were clearly economic roles, he notes that there was no direct correlation between the wealth of an individual or group and his or her or its caste: any person in any jati might be rich or poor, and there were as many rich shepherds and farmers as there were rich priests in the village. Rather, the defining feature of a jati was its spiritual condition — its ritual purity and spiritual cleanliness. Humans who were "purer" as a result of behaviors in their past lives were born into higher jatis, and those who were more "impure" were born into lower ones. The lowest castes did the dirtiest work, including handling dead (animal and human) bodies and other unclean substances. ...
- Lewis, I. M. (1985 (reprinted 2003)), Social & Cultural Anthropology in Perspective, Cambridge University Press (reprinted by Transaction Publishers), pp. 190–191, ISBN 978-0-7658-0986-5, retrieved 10 August 2012 Check date values in:
The immense potential for social differentiation which economic specialization offers is nowhere more logically or elaborately realized than in the Indian caste system. Unlike the situation in Rwanda and many other stratified societies where power is held by a minority, here, despite considerable regional variations, the high castes and their numerous sub-divisions are generally in the majority. Partly for this reason, and because of its very distinctive cultural (and especially ritual) features, and the way in which hierarchy is assumed to be the natural order of things, many scholars insist that caste is uniquely Indian and Hindu, and does not exist elsewhere. The same, of course, can be said of any social institution. But whether we accept this parochial view or not (and we shall return to the issue later), the fact is that over three hundred million Hindus see human society as a composite structure of five interlocking but rigidly demarcated divisions.
- Morris, Mike (27 March 2012), "caste", Concise Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology, John Wiley & Sons, p. 33, ISBN 978-1-4443-3209-4, retrieved 10 August 2012
caste. The hereditary and hierarchical (see HIERARCHY) division Of SOCIETY in (usually) India, associated there with Hinduism. Members of a caste share the same profession and STATUS and traditionally avoid physical contact with members of other castes. Subdivisions of castes ("jatis") are linked to particular obligations and rights (the "jajmani" system). Anthropologists disagree on whether caste should be read in ways similar to SOCIAL STRUCTURES outside India or as something unique. The nature of jajmani conventions has also been disputed. The word "caste" derives from Spanish and Portuguese, casta ("race"). (Further reading: Dumont (1980); Beteille (1996).)
- Scott, John; Marshall, Gordon (2005), "caste", A Dictionary of Sociology, Oxford University Press, p. 66, ISBN 978-0-19-860987-2, retrieved 10 August 2012
caste An institution of considerable internal complexity, which has been over-simplified by those seeking an ideal type of rigid hierarchical social stratification, based on extreme closure criteria. In Max Weber's writings it was synonymous with ethnic status stratification and constituted one end of the continuum which contrasted status honour stratification with commercial classes and the market. Possibly the clearest definition is that proffered by André Béteille, who describes a caste as 'a small and named group of persons characterized by endogamy, hereditary membership and a specific style of life which sometimes includes the pursuit by tradition of a particular occupation and is usually associated with a more or less distinct ritual status in a hierarchical system, based on concepts of purity and pollution' (Caste, Class and Power, 1965). Caste is especially important in the lives of Indian Hindus, for whom its basis is the traditional idea of the five varna: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, and Untouchable. Within each vama there are myriad jati, which are small endogamous ....
- Abercrombie, Nicholas; Hill, Stephen; Turner, Bryan S. (2006-02-28), "caste", The Penguin dictionary of sociology, Penguin, p. 46, ISBN 978-0-14-101375-6
caste A caste system is a form of social STRATIFICATION in which castes are hierarchically organized and separated from each other by rules of ritual purity. The lowest strata of the caste system are referred to as 'untouchables', because they are excluded from the performance of rituals which confer religious purity. In this hierarchical system, each caste is ritually purer than the one below it. The caste system is an illustration of SOCIAL CLOSURE in which access to wealth and prestige is closed to social groups which are excluded from the performance of purifying rituals. This ritual segregation is further reinforced by rules of ENDOGAMY. In Max Weber's study of India (1958a), caste represented an important illustration of social ranking by prestige and formed part of a wider interest in pariah groups. ... There is considerable debate as to whether the caste system is specific to Hindu culture, or whether its principal features are more widely found in other societies where hierarchically organized, endogamous strata are present. In the first position, caste cannot be defined independently of 'caste system', which is specific to classical Hindu society. In the second argument, the term caste is extended to embrace the stratification of ethnic groups, for example in the southern states of the USA. While the Hindu caste system is organized in terms of four major castes (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra) there is considerable diversity at the local, village level ....
- Lawson, Tony (2001), "caste", Dictionary of Sociology, Taylor & Francis, p. 25, ISBN 978-1-57958-291-3, retrieved 10 August 2012
caste: a social class within the stratification system of India. The system is based on four traditional groups organized in a hierarchy and originally based on an occupational classification. The system is now hereditary, with caste being determined at birth by parents' caste membership, and cannot be changed during a lifetime. The system is a complicated one with the four main castes being subdivided into thousands of "jati," or subcastes. The four main castes from top to bottom are: 1. Brahmin: 2. Kshatriyas: 3. Vaishyas; 4. Sudras. Standing below the castes are the Harijan. who are literally "out-caste" and who occupy a position in society that makes them the object of much discrimination.
- Mitchell, Geoffrey Duncan (1 October 2006), "Castes", A New Dictionary of the Social Sciences, Transaction Publishers, pp. 194–195, ISBN 978-0-202-30878-4, retrieved 10 August 2012
Castes A pure caste system is rooted in the religious order and may be thought of as a hierarchy of hereditary, endogamous, occupational groups with positions fixed and mobility barred by ritual distances between each caste. Empirically, the classical Hindu system of India approximated most closely to pure caste. The system existed for some 3,000 years and continues today despite many attempts to get rid of some of its restrictions. It is essentially connected with Hinduism. In theory all Hindus belong to one of four main groups, denoted by a colour, these were originally in order of precedence the Kshatriyas (a warrior group), the Brahmans (a priestly group), the Vaishyas (trading and manufacturing people) and the Sudras (servants and slaves). These are all mentioned in the Hindu writings of the sixth century B.C. Later the Brahmans replaced the Kshatriyas in the prime position. Outside these four main castes there are over fifty million so-called 'outcastes' but of course these too are part of the caste system, sharing the dominant beliefs about ritual pollution they are among the least privileged and their occupations are among the least esteemed, e.g. those of the tanner or the washerman. ... For its members, a caste system is a coherent and comprehensive system of allocating ritualistic functions on the basis of a ritualistic social order to which all subscribe. It is precisely on this score that to apply the concept of caste to the social stratification of slave-states of North America is both inaccurate and misleading. Here the deep and entrenched social divisions between the white and coloured populations, although, as in contemporary South Africa, given the veneer of religious sanction, arise not from allocation of differential functions in a ritual order but from allocation of menial tasks to men of distinct colour.
- Winthrop, Robert H. (1991), Dictionary of Concepts in Cultural Anthropology, ABC-CLIO, pp. 27–30, ISBN 978-0-313-24280-9, retrieved 10 August 2012
CASTE 1. An explicitly hierarchical social system based on hereditary, endogamous groups, in which each is characterized by a specific status, occupation, mode of life, and pattern of customary interactions with other such groups. 2. One of the endogamous units of such a system. Caste is one of a number of terms (cf. order, estate, class) denoting a ranked segment of society. Although caste is used primarily with reference to India, it is a European term, applied (at least originally) by Europeans to the analysis of Hindu life. ... The following analysis will consider caste primarily as an Indian phenomenon, with some attention also given to the relevance of caste as a cross-cultural category. In the Hindu perspective, society is of necessity highly differentiated; there is a PATTERN of behavior appropriate to each caste and stage of life. ... (New Section) Caste in India ... (New Section) Theories of Caste Anthropological debate regarding the caste concept has been dominated by two related questions: (1) What principles determine caste ranking? and (2) Is caste a cross-cultural phenomenon, or is it limited to the South Asian CULTURE AREA? ... whether caste phenomena can be found entirely outside the South Asian culture sphere remains a fundamental point of controversy (see Bartlett et al. 1976; Berreman 1968; see also INEQUALITY).
- Lindholm, Charles (1998), "caste, caste societies", in Thomas Barfield, The Dictionary of Anthropology, Wiley, pp. 50–51, ISBN 978-1-57718-057-9
caste, caste societies: In a caste society groups of persons engaged in specific occupations or with specific characteristics are ranked hierarchically. These ranks are ostensibly based on the degree of pollution incurred by work at the caste specialty or by other group characteristics, and one's position in the caste scale may be regarded as a reward or punishment for spiritual attainments (see PURITY/POLLUTION). India is the most famous (some say the only) caste society. There caste is broken into four great varnas: the "twice-born" Brahman priests, Kshatriya warriors, and Vaisiya merchants, and the "once-born" Sudra peasants. Beneath these and officially excluded from the caste system are the Untouchables (Gandhi's harijans, or "children of God," now self-designated as Dalits, or "oppressed"), who fill the most polluting occupations. Although the Brahmans are universally recognized as the least spiritually polluted caste, there is no absolute consensus as to who is on top or why. For instance, religious renunciants can make claims to special holiness either by showing extraordinary asceticism and purity, or by engaging in cannibalism and self-degradation or indulging in intoxication and excess (J. Parry 1982; Lynch 1990). Furthermore, the Kshatriya, who traditionally served as rulers, established competing axes of valuation for themselves to counterbalance the Brahmans' claims to pre-eminence (Inden 1990; Heesterman 1985). In fact, Dirks (1987) argued that the Brahmanical portrait of caste was simply a wishful fantasy of priests in a colonial atmosphere that favored the disjuncture between kingly power and religious legitimacy. Among ordinary people, however, the main competition between castes remains at a lower level of organization. All the varnas are divided into multitudinous jatis, or local, endogamous occupational groups, that constitute the varied labor force of the society. These jatis can and do contest their relative positions and attempt to rise in the ranks through what Srinivas (1962) famously called "Sanskritization': emulating the attributes of higher caste groups. Thus, an economically successful lower caste may take up less polluting occupations and habits and claim higher caste status. Whether these claims are accepted varies (F. Bailey 1957), but clearly slow upward (and downward) mobility in the caste rank of jati was far more likely prior to colonial censuses, which fixed caste positions immutably in written records. Academic definitions of caste are also not solidified, and fall into two mutually exclusive positions. The first is structural-functional and views caste as a category or type, comparable in many respects to hierarchical organizations elsewhere. In this vein, Gerald Berreman wrote that "a caste system resembles a plural society whose discrete sections all ranked vertically." (1968: 55). Indian caste therefore is analogous to social structures elsewhere in which rank is ascribed, such as American racial grading (Goethals 1961; Bujra 1971). The second school understands Indian caste as a total symbolic world, unique, self-contained, and not comparable to other systems. Most of these theorists would agree with the classic definition by Bougle, who wrote that "the spirit of caste unites these three tendencies: repulsion, hierarchy and hereditary specialization" (1971: 9); controversies are primarily over which of these aspects is stressed. Dumont, the best known of the symbolic school, based his interpretation of caste on the attributes of hierarchy and repulsion. In his book Homo hierarchicus (1970), he focused on the rigidity of caste positions at each end of the hierarchical spectrum (Brahmans and outcastes) and the radical opposition in Hindu thought between categories of power and categories of status. LEACH, on the other hand, gave first place to hereditary specialization; the diagnostic of the system, for him, was that "every caste, not merely the upper elite, has its special 'privileges" (1960a: 7). A somewhat different approach was taken by Marriott and Indcn. They postulated an indigenous monism, grounded in the assumption that in a caste society "all living beings are differentiated into genera, or classes, each of which is thought to possess a defining substance" (1974: 983). These substances, according to the theory, arc formed by various transactions, particularly exchanges of food. Marriott and Inden were then able to develop transactional flow charts that locate all different Indian groups within their paradigm. A difficulty for interpretive theory is the place of non-Hindus within a caste system. For instance, Muslims, who make up approximately 12 percent of India's population, advocate the equality of all believers and deny the validity of notions of pollution (Lindholm 1986). The problem of accommodating such nonbelievers within caste society is not merely academic, as present-day sectarian battles chillingly testify.
- Johnson, Allan G. (2000), "caste", The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A User's Guide to Sociological Language, Wiley, p. 34, ISBN 978-0-631-21681-0, retrieved 10 August 2012
caste. A caste is a rigid category into which people arc born with no possibility of change. In some systems Of STRATIFICATION AND INEQUALITY, the distribution of rewards and resources is organized around castes. In India, the caste system historically has consisted of four basic categories - Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra - each with its own specific and rigid location in the stratification system. In addition to these, an "outcaste" of "untouchables" is beneath the lowest caste. The crossing of caste boundaries is rigidly prohibited through controls over occupational distribution and residence, and especially through control over the choice of marriage partners. Within the four major castes, there are numerous sub-castes among which a certain amount of mobility is possible. According to the Indian caste system, which is codified in the Hindu religion, people may move from one caste to another across several life-times through the process of reincarnation. Such movements depend upon successful performance in the present caste position, which means that the system provides a powerful incentive for enforcing acceptance of the caste system itself and its inequalities. Although the concept of caste is associated almost exclusively with India, elements of caste can be found in a few other societies, such as Japan during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and more recently in the United States and South Africa. Although the caste system was officially banned in India in 1949, its influence remains in rural areas.
- (Dated reference) Winich, Charles (1956), "caste", Dictionary of Anthropology, Citadel Press, p. 100, ISBN 978-0-8065-2919-6
caste. An hierarchical system of social control in India, with each sub-group assigned a ranked status, depending on its origin and religious strictness. In Europe, a minority group with its own culture, such as the Gypsies. In the United States, a hereditary class status, the members of which are limited in residence, job, marriage, and economic possibilities. In India, theoretically there are four castes: Brahmans, warriors, farmers and business men, and workers. When seven years old, members of the three top castes have a spiritual rebirth. In actuality, there are more than four castes. and Brahmans are not all priests. Pollution by leather and contact with the lowest group is a common religious idea, as is the idea that only persons of the same caste can eat together. Some foods are forbidden. Endogamy is the rule. Hereditary occupations for caste members are common.
- Nagar, Richa (2011), "caste", in Derek Gregory, The Dictionary of Human Geography, Ron Johnston, Geraldine Pratt, Michael Watts, Sarah Whatmore, John Wiley & Sons, p. 72, ISBN 978-1-4443-5995-4, retrieved 10 August 2012
caste An endogamous social hierarchy of enduring political significance, believed to have emerged some 3500 years ago around highly questionable categories of Aryans and non-Aryans in the Indian subcontinent. The former - comprising brahmart, kshatriya and vaishya - emerged as dominant occupational castes of so-called dvija (twice-born). The shudra caste(s) - regarded as non-Aryan and 'mixed' - were occupationally marginalized and racialized, as was also the case later with the `outcastes' (Dalit), whose touch was deemed polluting (Thapar, 1966). This order was challenged from the sixth century BCE, but all major religions in India came to bear the social imprint of caste. Brahman social dominance was bolstered by a British neo-Brahmanical ruling IDEOLOGY, and provoked a backlash (Bose and Jalal, 1997). Significantly, leaders such as Lohia analytically separated the high castes from women, shudra, Dalit, Muslim and adivasi ('indigenous') and underscored the political necessity of marriages between shudra and dvija, while disrupting the rift between manual and brain work, which contributed to the formation, rigidification and violence of caste.
- Calhoun, Craig (2002), "caste", Dictionary of the Social Sciences, Oxford University Press, p. 60, ISBN 978-0-19-512371-5, retrieved 10 August 2012
caste The term that the Portuguese and later the British used to describe the hereditary Hindu system of rank that organizes society in India. In principle, there are four castes—the priests (Brahmin), the warriors (Kshatriya), the merchants (Vaisiya), and the peasants (Sudra). There is also a group below and excluded from the caste system—the untouchables. The exclusivity of the castes was reinforced through rigid norms that governed contact among them and that especially proscribed marriage outside each caste. Traditionally, caste dictated employment possibilities according to a system that ranked occupations by their degree of spiritual pollution. In practice, in an occupationally complex and modernizing society, the castes are divided into many subcastes, which vary across localities. Certain occupations are open or vied for by more than one caste, and a significant minority in Indian society rejects the system altogether—notably the Muslims. India has proved a rich and difficult subject of anthropological and sociological interpretation—one that resists simple accounts of caste practices. The study of the Indian caste system has also had an impact on the accounts of divided societies more generally, contributing the notion of a SUBALTERN as a way of thinking about subordination that cuts across lines of class, race, and gender.
- Haviland, William A.; Prins, Harald E. L.; Walrath, Dana (2010), Anthropology: The Human Challenge, Cengage Learning, pp. 536–537, ISBN 978-0-495-81084-1, retrieved 11 August 2012 Unknown parameter
A caste is a closed social class in a stratified society in which membership is determined by birth and fixed for life. The opposite of the principle that all humans are born equal, the caste system is based on the principle that humans neither are nor can be equal. Castes are strongly endogamous, and offspring are automatically members of their parents' caste. (New Section) TRADITIONAL HINDU CASTE SYSTEM The classic ethnographic example of a caste system is the traditional Hindu caste system of India (also found in other parts of Asia, including Nepal and Bali). Perhaps the world's longest surviving social hierarchy, it encompasses a complex ranking of social groups on the basis of "ritual purity:' Each of some 2,000 different castes considers itself as a distinct community higher or lower than other castes, although their particular ranking varies among geographic regions and over time. (After seven long paragraphs on the Hindu caste system, the textbook has the following one paragraph on other castlike situations.) ... Castelike situations are found in other places in the world. In Bolivia, Ecuador, and several other South and Central American countries, for example, the wealthy upper class is almost exclusively white and rarely intermarries with people of non-European descent. In contrast, the lower class of working poor in those countries is primarily made up of American Indian laborers and peasants. Likewise, most European stratified societies were historically organized in closed social classes known as estates—ranked as clergy, nobility, and citizens and each with distinctive political rights (privileges). These were hierarchically identified by titles and forms of address, and they were publicly identified by distinctive dress and codes of behavior.