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AP: Caste System- India

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Luke Bailey

on 28 September 2018

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Transcript of AP: Caste System- India

Caste System- India
Similarities Between India and China
-Birth determines social status

-Little social mobility

-High inequality

-Inequalities natural, even determined by gods
Origin of Caste System
-Caused by Aryan invasion, separating invaders from conquered? Maybe

-Probably a result of inequality rather than the cause of it (justification for massive differences)

-Not really to do with race, more with occupation
Jati
-Jati are social groups based on occupation, typically only including members of a single caste

-Jatis themselves had a hierarchy (some jatis above others)

-Each jati had its own rules of association (eating, marrying, only within jati) and many other rules.
Religious Angle
- Idea of "uncleanliness" that came from touching a bottom caste

-Untouchables forced to isolate from other casts to avoid spreading uncleanliness

-Much justification in idea of reincarnation/karma
Differences from China
-Top rank (Brahmin) religious, while in China secular bureaucrats

-India has far more social categories/jatis

-India far more rigid with less social mobility
Functions of Caste
-Jati make system highly localized, meaning people's loyalties lie in small area

-This localization makes Indian unity difficult, meaning less centralized empire than China

-Gave everyone a role while still allowing a unique identity, unlike China which demanded complete cultural assimilation (language, ethnicity, etc)
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