Determination of Status of a Person in Indian Society

Determination of Status of a Person in Indian Society!

Status of a person in Indian society is de­termined on the basis of his birth in a particular caste or community and his socio-economic position and social interaction with others. Such a status is regarded as his social status (consisting of status both in the caste system and the class structure), and can be explained in terms of a com­posite evaluation by him and others and his self-awareness of such an evaluation.

This can also be treated as composite and individual status contrary to the status of his group (caste). More precisely, a comprehen­sive evaluation of social status of the respondents was made through the subjective, composite (based on objective criteria like education, job, income, etc.) and group (caste) criteria. Such criteria of status-evaluation obviously pertained to their social status in a multiple status-hierarchy of caste system and class structure.

The respondents’ perception about their own social status was exam­ined in their neighbourhood in the city as the neighbourhood consisted of people of the same or different castes and communities. Neighbourhood is a unit of interaction where social situations are agglomerated at a given point in time.

We have found that a considerable number of them (57.9%) had achieved a middle level social status in their neighbourhood. The per­centage of those having a “high” social status was also quite noticeable (31 7%) contrary to only 10.4 per cent with a low social status m their re­spective neighbourhoods. Hence, 15.8 per cent suffered from status-anxiety resulting from an incongruity between their caste and class statuses and their low social status in the multiple status-hierarchy found in their urban neighbourhood.

A majority of the respondents, with their improved class status, had established a diagonal interactional relationship with their non-scheduled caste acquaintances, though this might have existed even earlier in some cases.

This helped them perceive the enhancement in their caste status though the reverse is not ruled out where the improved class and caste statuses would have guided their diagonal interactional relationship. But as pointed out earlier, they and their acquaintances had certain reserva­tions in their interaction and free acceptance of each other perhaps because of their caste background. Therefore, the respondents had not ac­quired “complete” social mobility in terms of congruity between both types of statuses and changes in their social status in an overall stratifica­tion system consisting of the caste system and class structure.

Submitted by : Dr. Declan, Category : Essay, Tag : Indian Society