Classical India and mesopotamia

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Social stratification Pages: 1 (645 words) Published: October 28, 2014

In both Classical India and Mesopotamia, a social hierarchy was created to maintain the order and stability that states and political structures guarantee. There were many similarities and differences in the social stratification between the societies, however. Social classes were based on different aspects of ranking, and the treatment of women as part of the society varied. A similarity in both organizations of people was the patriarchal way of society. There is no doubt these relationships affected the way the classes interacted. Starting with the first difference, in Mesopotamia, social classes were based on your job and wealth. Increasingly specialized labor and long distance trade provided the opportunities for the accumulation of wealth in Mesopotamia. The ruling classes consisting of kings and nobles who had won their positions because of their valor and success as warriors at first, but later on arranged their sons to succeed them. Commoners, dependent clients, and slaves were all the less privileged class. On the contrary, the Aryans constructed a more religious structure that rested hereditary distinctions and groups, corresponding to their occupations and roles in society. According to a late hymn, the gods created the four varnas, the major social classes, during the early days of the world and produced Brahmins and Kshatriyas as the most honorable human groups that would lead their societies. Vaishyas and Shudras were the less honorable classes. The recognition of varnas had the effect of enhancing the status and power of priestly and aristocratic classes. This created the caste system, and subcastes known as jati, where the Aryans made their social distinctions and classes. The role and value of women, in addition, varied in both societies. Just like for Mesopotamians, the Aryans placed the main authority under men. By assessing this, I can tell that women must’ve been excluded and treated unfairly politically and socially. However, women...
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