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Morton Klass, an anthropologist, made an attempt to explain origin and development of caste system. He explains caste as a concrete historical phenomenon. He rejected racial or Aryan conquest theory by presenting the fact that caste is more severe in the south where least invasions.
According to him the sub caste or marriage circles are the fundamental units into which every member of the society is born they exists as corporate groups within which a person must marry. They have certain rules of behavior from marriage rules to preferred occupations to particular standards of cleanliness and relations of social distance with other sub-castes and enforce these by sanctions including expulsion and they have general rank within the socio-economic hierarchy of their area. He says that there are many rules connected with the marriage circle and one who disobey the rules of the particular marriage circle need to face difficulties from his own community. The most serious punishment is given to one who disobeys from his or her caste is out casting either wih whole household or that particular person.
The sub-caste is termed as jati, always the word jati is attached with occupation. Jati tells one’s rank in the social ladder. The system of jati functions on the basis of material activity. This activity is operated under the guidance of the powerful caste.
He further argues that in pre-cultural India, tribal group based on an egalitarian system inhabited the whole area. When agriculture began to develop a process of wider spread social innovation took place this is called as caste. According to him, the concept sub-caste really functions as the actual system.
His theory is generally knows as marriage circle theory
Prepared By Thomas. M. J, Allahabad Bible Seminary
Intimations of Caste
Divine Plan or Racial Antipathy?
The Occupation Hypothesis
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