10 Differences Between caste and class

Difference between Caste and Class

Difference between Caste and Class

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What is Caste?

Caste refers to a hereditary social group or system into which people are born and which determines their status,
occupation, and social relationships. It is prevalent in various societies, where individuals are classified into
different castes based on their birth.

Examples of Caste:

In India, the caste system is a well-known example. The four main castes are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and
Shudras, with each caste having different privileges and restrictions.

What is Class?

Class refers to a social stratification based on economic, educational, and occupational criteria. It determines
an individual’s social position and the opportunities available to them in society. Unlike caste, class is not
determined by birth but can change over time.

Examples of Class:

In capitalist societies, class distinction is commonly seen. Classes can be classified as the upper class,
middle class, and lower class, with each having different levels of income, wealth, and social status.

Differences Table:

Difference Area Caste Class
Based on Birth Economic, educational, and occupational criteria
Mobility Fixed and rigid Fluid and can change
Social Status Hereditary Not hereditary; can change
Opportunities Restricted based on caste Varies based on class
Discrimination Based on birth and caste Based on socio-economic factors
System Origin Cultural and historical Economic and sociological
Intermarriage Restricted within the same caste No specific restrictions
Geographical Prevalence Primarily in South Asia Global, across various societies
Education and Occupation Not solely based on education and occupation Heavily influenced by education and occupation
Social Hierarchy Multiple layers within each caste Clear distinction between classes


In conclusion, caste and class are two distinct social systems. Caste is based on birth, rigid in nature, and
largely prevalent in South Asia, while class is determined by socio-economic factors, allows mobility, and is
globally prevalent. Caste determines social status, opportunities, and discrimination, while class is primarily
determined by economic and educational factors.

People Also Ask:

  • Q: How is caste different from class?
    A: Caste is determined by birth and restricts
    mobility, while class is based on socio-economic factors and allows for mobility.
  • Q: Can caste change over time?
    A: Caste is typically fixed and hereditary, making it
    difficult to change.
  • Q: Can class change?
    A: Yes, class can change based on an individual’s economic,
    educational, and occupational progression.
  • Q: Does caste exist outside of South Asia?
    A: While similar systems may exist, caste as
    commonly understood is primarily prevalent in South Asian societies.
  • Q: How does class impact opportunities?
    A: Class influences an individual’s access to
    education, employment, healthcare, and other resources.

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