Human societies have evolved, crystallized and expressed themselves through stratification. India, since times immemorial through the modern times has remained deeply and rather enigmatically, one of the most stratified of societies with the caste system being its most unique invention as also its most enduring tradition. In this paper a small attempt has been made to understand social stratification and its different contours and hues in the Indian context. We have tried to understand social stratification in India using the conceptual frameworks of two of the greatest social scientists of all times – Karl Marx and Max Weber. Both Marx and Weber have themselves been ardent students of Indian society.Marx’s theory of capitalist development with its focus on uncovering the essentially antagonistic nature of class war between the bourgeoisie who control the modes of production and the proletariat who supply the labour force provides a robust framework to understand the evolution of India’s economic and societal growth. Weber’s three pronged stratification theory brings new insights in comprehending the contradictions of India’s social dynamics. Both Marx and Weber, in many ways, seem to be relevant even today, in explaining much of the complexities of social stratification. As India engages in its struggle to emerge from the throes of its troubled past with all its caste and class paradoxes and get ready to take its hallowed place amongst the global powers, it has a long way to go in resolving and carrying along its many layers of social realities.
Cite this article:
Mitike Shrivastava. Different Forms of Social Stratification in the Indian Society. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 3(1): Jan- March, 2012, 30-37.