What role does caste play in Indian rural society?

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Caste plays following important role in Indian rural society-

(i) Caste is the determinant of individual status and role. It determines the status of the individual as soon as he takes birth.

(ii) Caste also guides the behaviour of an individual in his conduct, his association and interaction, his choice in marriage etc.

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(iii) Caste has helped maintain the continuity of social order by preserving its pattern of culture and traditions.

(iv) Caste plays a vital role in the process of socialization by teaching individuals the culture and traditions, values and norms of their society.

(v) Caste helps the different groups to work for the betterment of human community as a whole while maintaining their own distinctive existence.

(vi) Caste considerations also dominate rural economic structures by its technique of occupational distribution and assignment of a particular occupation to one class.

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(vii) Caste serves as a ‘political stabiliser’ in rural society. It is this system that has saved the Hindu society and culture from destruction and possible annihilation during foreign invasions and colonialism.

(viii)Caste also has a deep influence in the religious lives of rural people. Caste and religion are complementary to each other and one adds strength to the other.

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