Role is the behavioural aspect of status; there can be no statuses without a corresponding role attached to it. Role is, thus, the dynamic aspect of status and consists of rights and duties attached to it. Thus, an individual occupying the status of a father, simultaneously, has some rights over his children, as well as some responsibilities towards them. Statuses and roles are, thus two sides of the same coin.

Role refers both to the actual behaviour of an individual occupying a particular status, as well as to a set of expectations regarding behaviour, shared by those involved in particular social relations.

Thus, in the teacher-student relationship, the teacher has an expectation as to how the student interacting with him will or should behave. The students too in turn, have their own set of expectations. Should either of them fail to act according to other’s expectations, their relations are adversely affected. Since individuals, by and large, fulfil role expectations, society gains uniformity of behaviour.

Thus, we may say that ‘role’ is one of the basic units of analysis of social order in human societies.


Caste of Hinduism:

Caste is the basis of Hindu society. The link between caste and Hinduism is from the Rigveda concept of the Varna system was started in the Vedic Period. When Aryan came to India they conquered weaker section of the society and makes them slaves. Aryan who came from outside were Barbarians, uncultured and people who were residing here were civilised and well cultured and cultivators of the crops. Aryans were the cattle breeders.

Those who have skill of cultivating land and that is the knowledge of agriculture they cannot leave their land in this way we can say Aryans were uncivilized and unskilled because they migrated from outside to India.

These four varnas are not denoted by birth but they were noted on the basis of occupation. Except four varnas there is other Varna that is the fifth category which is not actually Varna.


1. Caste is the basis of Hindu society.

2. Varna means colour also refer to occupation.

3. Once the Varna system was established it was further divided into sub groups. Possibility of inter-marriage between them was not rigid. Possibility of food exchange i.e., commensality

4. When occupation started on the basis of birth then the matter of purity of blood come into practice by restricting other occupational individual to marry to take food with them, etc.


5. Varnas were four excluding untouchables.

Varna and Caste:

The Purushsukta of the Rigveda gives only four castes called varnas and this is in the sharp contrast to the reality of castes in India which consists of about 3000 castes called Jatis. The distinction between Varna and Jati is twofold.

First Varna is providing an all India frame work in to which the large number of castes may fit roughly to show their ranking. It is the Jati which is the effective local group and the unit of interaction. Therefore the characteristics of caste such as endogamy, occupation, panchayat, commensality


Therefore the characteristics of caste operate at a level of jati and it is the external group. Second distinction between varna and jati is that varna defines the normative aspect of caste while jatis show the actual working of the normative model the normative aspect of caste is the clear distinction between the Brahmin and Kshatriya i.e., distinction between ritual status and political power and the superiority of Brahmin i.e., ritual status over the kshatriya i.e., political power the norm in Hindu society is for ritual status to be more important than political power in the ranking of castes.

This leave little doubt about ranking of caste in the varna regard but at a level of Jati there is considerable variation in ranking owing to the working of political power.

Caste and Politics:

Caste is the basic form of organisation in Indian Society and it is natural that politics will find a basis in Indian society by drawing upon caste. It is not surprising, therefore, that caste enters in the political system but the fact that politics enters into the caste system


Caste is mobilised for political purposes when particular caste becomes the vote banks of the particular party. And when political parties takes into account the caste composition of a particular constituency in the selection of its candidates, leaders of caste then emerge as brokers of power between the people and the government.

And those castes which are in a numerical majority emerge as the dominant caste in the particular region. All this is inevitable in a nascent democracy in which case is the only idiom which the people understand and in which they can communicate.

The use of caste for political purposes makes caste an interest group of the kind that is found in western society.