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FROM CASTE TO CLASS IN INDIAN SOCIETY

Raj S. Gandhi
Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring/Summer 1980), pp. 1-14
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23261720
Page Count: 14
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FROM CASTE TO CLASS IN INDIAN SOCIETY
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Abstract

Though both Marx and Weber boldly conceived of change in Indian social stratification from caste to class, they laid emphasis on different factors of change. But, true to their observations, castes are changing into classes. However, changes in caste came first through its initiation into political processes, almost parallel and closely followed by change in the mode of production of Indian economy. Thus, politicization and industrialization are the most prominent forces of change. Further, in analyzing change from caste to class, the specific attention must be paid to the rural-urban differences in caste system. Similarly, the emergence of elites, the rise of middle classes, and the formation and the role of caste associations need to be more clearly focused upon. The socio-cultural dimension of caste (unlike its politico-economic dimension) has proven to be more resistant to change. It appears to be the last stronghold of change. The dialectics of caste, through contradictions and conflicts, are paving the way for the future class society in India.

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