Sociology Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 4 - Question 2

90 Days Sociology Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 03-Dec-2018

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.


2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

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03-Dec-2018 - Question 2

Is caste system changing, weakening or disintegrating in India?(2015)(250 words)

For Question 1 - Click Here

Model Answer

Caste system can simply be defined as system of stratification in society. Various sociologists have studied caste system in India with different perspectives. G.S Ghurye adopted attributional approach and discussed about significant features of caste system. Louis Dumont’s perspective was based on the concept of purity and pollution as the basis of caste system. Such view considers caste system to be a closed system wherein there is no possibility of mobility. However, in present context changes have been observed with respect to caste system.



              Earlier situation

             Present situation



-Caste based occupations

-Jajmani system

-Due to industrialization, there has been commercialization of occupations.

-New occupations not associated with any caste and open to all.

-No hesitation among people of all castes to go for new occupations.



-There were restrictions on dining along with people of lower caste.

- Now, almost 90% of people does not mind eating together.



-More emphasis was given to ascriptive identity.

-At present, there is more emphasis on achievement.



Caste panchayats

-They used to hold an important position in earlier times.

-Due to presence of the modern legal system, such institutions have lost their original significance.



-Earlier, the untouchables were supposed to live outside the village.

-Distance was maintained among the houses of upper caste people and that of lower caste people.

- Now, there is no such gap maintained in modern colonies or cities.



-Restrictions on inter-caste marriage

-At present, many people do not have any problem with inter-caste marriage.

-More emphasis is given on class.

Such comparative analysis present the idea that caste system has been changing. However, it is not disintegrating. There are some factors of continuity as well. These are given below:

1.   Identity- Caste based identities are still given importance. Many instances of class conflicts occurred during contemporary times.

2.   Caste association- Various caste groups have formed their caste associations so as to unite themselves. E.g- Kayastha mahasabha, Jat mahasabha etc.

3.   Caste panchayats- Though they have lost their original significance, these have not been eliminated altogether. They try to assert their position as guardians of culture. E.g. Khap panchayats.

4.   Backward class- Many caste groups are trying to get backward class status to get the benefit of reservation.

5.   Politicisation- There has been tendency of vote bank politics. This was also highlighted by Srinivas in his idea of ‘dominant caste’.


With the concept of Sanskritization, Srinivas was the first scholar to highlight the possibility of change in caste system.  Andre Beteille also presented the view that caste old is replaced by caste new than the caste being replaced by class in India.

Caste system is changing but not disintegrating. It is now focussing more on secular domain in contemporary times as compared to that of religious domain.



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