Caste and Class in India are intertwined/overlap. Share your views.

The main features of caste include occupational differentiation and hereditary specialization of occupations, notion of pollution.Simply speaking, the occupation of a person depends on his caste and the caste system was based on this hierarchical segmentation with Brahmans at the top and the dalits at the bottom. Classes on the other hand refers to the economic basis of ownership or non-ownership relation to the means of production.

This means that the upper castes own means of production (land in rural areas) and act as rentiers. The landless agrarian proletarian coincides with the lower castes or dalits who provide labour services for the rentier upper caste people as well as rich prosperous farmers of intermediate level.

Also, both caste and class positions tend to be associated with social honour with the only difference being that class directly depends upon the ownership and non-ownership of means of production.

This is clearly reflected on the the reservation system based on caste being embedded into the government system to give lower caste people ample opportunities to move to higher level of system(which is constituted by the upper class) and hence helping them to uplift themselves as far as class positions are concerned. The same thing daoesn’t exist in private sector and we can clearly see the result of this overlapping of caste and class there. Positions at the top level in a MNC is hardly held by a Dalit(in most of the cases).

Katherine S. Newman of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Sociology did a research on Indian private sector.He went on to describe the study, looking at the role of caste in post-university employment. “A group of urban, educationally similar university students from different caste backgrounds were compared in terms of job expectations, search methods, and the role of their personal social networks in their actual placements.” Some key findings of the study include significantly lower expectations for monthly salary and job opportunity on the part of lower-caste students. “The majority of Dalits didn’t even apply to the private sector because they expected a wall of discrimination,” Newman said. Dalit students also tended to have a much smaller network of family and friends to whom they could turn for help in finding a job.

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