The Modernization of a Caste System

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The Modernization of a Caste System

Andre Beteille. Caste, Class, and Power: Changing Patterns of Stratification in a Tanjore Village, Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press, 1969

The book Caste, Class and Power is about a small village in the Tanjore District in the Madras state which is in the country of India. The small village is named Sripuram the village consist of three caste groups, Brahmin, Non-Brahmin, and the Adi-Dravida (Untouchables). Beteille discusses in his book how the old ways are slowly going away and people in India are starting to modernize and how some parts of village life have become caste free, but there are still areas which are still commanded by the caste system. He also talks about how the caste system is losing power and how the Panchayats and Political parties are gaining power.

The Brahmin are at the top of the caste system they way Beteille explains is that the Brahmin are the elite and that they are the landowners. The Non-Brahmin is what we would call the middle class they are not low on the caste system but they aren’t high either. Since the Brahmins are the landowners that would make the Non-Brahmins the tenets of the land. At the bottom of the caste system is the Adi-Dravida also known as the Untouchables. They are called thins because they do the work that all the higher caste won’t do for example they work with leather and meat, and in their religion cows are sacred and should not be harmed. So if the Brahmins are the landowners and the Non-Brahmins are the tenets so that means that the Untouchables are the laborers. The way you determines what class a person is in this caste system is determined at birth, so you have no choice and once you are in that class you can not leave you are stuck in that class. For example if you are an untouchable and you become wealthy and successful you will still be considered an untouchable no matter what and will be looked down upon by the upper classes even if...
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