Caste, Class, and Politics: An Empirical Profile of Social Stratification in Modern India

Bhatt, Anil Harilal

     This study attempts to examine the relationship among three major dimensions of social structure in modern India. . . . to compare and correlate ascriptive, socioeconomic, and political dimensions of social stratification. In particular, it examines the extent to which socioeconomic and political positions are entailed by the caste position in India.
     At a more general level the study addresses itself to the interaction between traditional social structures and modern democratic politics. . . . The study attempts to take a snapshot of a society two decades after it acquired nationhood. In doing so, it provides for diachronic comparison with its future development and for synchronic comparison with other societies.
     At a more specific level, the dissertation examines to what extent the traditional model of social stratification in India -- the model which characterized social summation, limited mobility, and cumulative inequalities -- obtains today. Thus, it deals with some aspects of democratic development in India, the aspects of mobility, equality and secularity.
     This study draws a portrait of social stratification in India after more than two decades . . . of its achieving nationhood and adopting [the] democratic system. In doing so, it examines the pattern and degree of relationship between caste, class, and politics; . . . the degree of status congruence; the extent of socioeconomic and political inequalities; the degree of internal differentiation; the impact of caste status on socioeconomic and political positions . . . , and conversely the impact of democratic political structures and processes on the caste system.

Sidney Verba (chair), Lloyd Rudolph, Bernard Cohn