Question: Discuss the structural and functional view of caste system in Himachal Pradesh. (4 marks, 60 words)
Caste is a form of social stratification characterised by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution. In himachal caste forms the basis of society, in the state caste and clan membership is diffused as literacy rate is high hence the boundaries between them is not clear.
Segmental Division of Society: The society is divided into various small social groups in himachal.
Endogamy: Endogamy is the chief characteristic of caste
Restriction on Food and Drink: Usually a caste would not accept cooked food from any other caste that stands lower than itself in the social scale, due to the notion of getting polluted
Caste is unique to Indian setup and Himachal state also reflects the age old traditional setup through its caste segmentation. Though due to education and westernisation caste belief and rigidity has relaxed but still it is prevalent in customs of high importance
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