Class and Caste and Difference between Class and Cast

Class and Caste and Difference between Class and Cast

A principle difference between class and caste is that class in open for all and social mobility is possible. In the caste system the vertical mobility is not possible. Caste in India has religious background and everybody tries to fulfill the caste duties, but in class system of social stratification religion has place. There the physical and mental qualities are more important.

Caste and Class jointly determine the position of an individual in social strain. Particularly in rural communities where caste system has maintained its rigidity. It forms the basic for economic and special life. In a single village there may be as many as 24 castes and of these are interdependent. Even in the urban society a constant tendency to make caste distinction is observed in the upper and middle classes. Thus the castes have maintained their importance in class system of social stratification.

Difference between Caste and Class:





Membership of a cast is hereditary and no amount or struggle and change it.

A person is placed class by virtue of his acquisition of education, wealth or other achievement.


There is no social mobility.

Social mobility is possible, i.e. it is possible to improve social status


Members are normally not conscious of their social status.

Members are generally conscious of their social status.


Caste system expects members of follow certain customs, folkways, rituals etc.

Social class has no prescribed customs rituals and folkways


Inter-caste marriage is not possible, because it will earn wrath of society

Marriage between two individuals belonging to different classes is possible without earning displeasure of the society


Caste system is based on inferiority or superiority of human beings. Therefore, does not promote democracy.

Social classes are based on superiority or inferiority of social status of an individual. Social classes help in working of democracy.


In caste system the members must follow a particular religion.

Members of social classes may follow any religion


Caste system is a closed class system in which hereditary status is the life time status.

Social classes are open class system in which movement from one class to another is completely unrestricted.


In caste system, there is no occupational mobility, i.e. one has to follow occupation of ancestors and it cannot be changed

As a member of social class one can adopt any occupation and change it at will.


Social gap between members of different castes is too wide.

Social gap is not so wide as in caste system.


Caste system is supported on religious grounds as a manifestation of God’s will.

Social classes have no such religious a support.


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