Conclusion Caste, Class and Power

André Béteille

in Caste, Class and Power

Third edition

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077435
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081080 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

Conclusion Caste, Class and Power

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  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility


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This chapter investigates the changing relations between caste, class, and power. The distribution of power creates a hierarchy which is different from the hierarchies of caste and class. The relations between class and power, and the role of caste in party politics are then examined. Sripuram constituted an agraharam village. One can obtain a variety of class positions with different degrees of probability, whatever one’s position in the caste structure may be. Several factors were responsible for the power and influence of the old landowning class in Sripuram. The changing relationships between the Brahmins and a variety of political parties are explored. The processes of economic change and political modernization have led the productive system and the organization of power to acquire an increasing degree of autonomy. It would appear that a certain measure of “discreteness” is enjoyed by each of the three orders considered: caste, class, and power.

Keywords: caste; class; power; party politics; Sripuram; agraharam; Brahmins; economic change; political modernization

Chapter.  15454 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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