How does the class system in the Unites States resemble and differ from the caste system in India? Also compare and contrast the caste system with racism.
Social class in the United States is a very arguable case. There are many disagreements that the gradation really exists. Many Americans consider that there is a three-class model of society. It includes a class of rich people, poor and middle class. Most people in America consider that more properly to do the gradation according to wealth, education, occupation of people or their belonging to different subcultures. It's the most simple model of society's structure.
More than sixty years ago the American sociologist Lloyd Warner offered to make the gradation on six classes. Among the main mentioned they included non-core classes. Today, this scale has seven classes and consider as the final variant. It includes upper-upper class, lower-upper, upper-middle, middle-middle, lower-middle, upper-lower and lower-lower classes (McCloud, 56-89).
Upper-upper class includes aristocrats that 200 years ago emigrated to America and for many generations had saved countless wealth. They have a high level of life, high-society manners, impeccable taste and behavior.
Lower-upper class consists mainly of "new riches" that hadn't time to create powerful tribal clans and didn't seize the highest positions in industry, business, politics. Typical representatives of the structure are professional basketball players or pop stars, receiving tens of millions, but without the blood of the aristocracy in the family.
Upper-middle class consists of the petty bourgeoisie and paid professionals: lawyers, well-known doctors, actors or television commentators. Their way of life is high enough. They could afford the luxury villas on the most expensive resorts in the world.
Middle-middle class is the most massive layer of advanced industrial society. It includes all the well-paid employees, middle-professionals, human intellectual professions, including teachers, well-paid managers.
The upper-lower class includes medium-and low-skilled workers in mass production at local factories. They live in relative comfort, but significantly different from the top and middle classes. The main features are low level of education (usually complete and incomplete secondary), passive leisure time as watching TV, playing cards, often excessive use of alcohol and non-literary vocabulary.
Lower-lower class consists of inhabitant's basements and attics. They have only primary education o doesn't have it at all. They often occasionally work and live in poverty on a social bottom.
In sociology, the criterion for classifying of social layers are not only income, but also the amount of power, education, and prestige of people. The main feature to distinguish people on classes is not just the arrival of money, but also their consumption, because you can receive a lot but also spend too much money.
Working class in the contemporary post-industrial society has two layers: the lower-middle and upper-lower. All knowledge workers never enroll in a lower class. Middle class is always different from the working class.
Unlike the American social structures in India, there is a hierarchy of classes, and each person has a duty - dharma and their way of life.
Caste system is one of the brightest and least understood sides of Hinduism. It literally determines a structure of social life of Hindus and divides the entire population on about 3 thousand separate groups of high and low classes and determines their lives by different rules and prohibitions, precise instructions.
Castes originate from four Varnas, on which the entire population was divided into ancient India. In the division of society based on caste systems lays the conviction that all people are not the same (Pandey, 35).
Brahmins were a senior and the highest varna. In included priests, teachers, counselors and scientists. Next went the Kshatriya varna that included warriors, rulers and nobles. The third varna called Vaishya in antiquity included farmers, herders and traders. The fourth varna named Shudra included servants.
There was a sharp boundary between the first three castes and the Sudras. Higher castes were called "dvija" that meant twice-born. It was believed that these people are born with a second rite of passage when.
The main duty of a Brahman was to learn and teach others, to make sacrifices to the gods and to receive them from people. Kshatriyas were supposed to protect people and to learn. The most important duty of Vaisyas was to cultivate the land and raise cattle. Sudras had to serve the three higher varnas (Singh, 15-22).
In India, people consider that a representative of each caste had to do its duty. They believed that it were better to do well your own job, than to do badly a job of someone else. This idea has remained as the leading in Hindu society. In India, everyone should take in the society certain place, to perform certain social role and comply with all related obligations and prohibitions in a perfect way. It can be called racism in a democratic world. But in India it's a part of strong traditions and dogmas.
A system of rules and prohibitions regulates both religious, social and domestic relations. Some of these rules are eternal and unchanging principals, others are temporary and changeable. Every Indian from birth until the last breath belongs to a particular caste. Nobody has the right to choose a caste or move from one caste to another.
On my opinion, we cannot consider it as an unfair structure. We should respect the traditions of other countries. Democratic world has many flaws and, maybe, the Indian social structure make the country more powerful, as it has a certain order and constant rules.
McCloud, Sean. Religion and class in America culture, history, and politics. Leiden: Brill, 2009. Print.
Pandey, Rajendra. The caste system in India: myth and reality. New Delhi: Criterion Publications, 1986. Print.
Singh, Ekta. Caste system in India a historical perspective. Delhi: Kalpaz Publications, 2009. Print.