Essay on Caste System and Estates System

2. Unlike the caste system the estates system has no “out-castes”. Because, at least in theory, all the estates of the system enjoyed their own rights, duties and obligations. All could establish some claim on the established social order. Here in the caste system^ the outcastes suffered from all kinds of social, political, religious, legal and other disabilities.

3. Difference between these two systems could be observed with regard to the nature of social mobility. Both, of course, had institutionalised barriers for social mobility. The barriers in the caste system are based on ritual impurity whereas the barriers of the estate system are legal. Since these legal barriers are man-made they can be modified in particular circumstances.

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For example, in the religious sphere, anyone belonging to any section of the community was recruited into the church. At least in theory, anyone could attain any high place in it. Promotion within the Church indicated some kind of social mobility.

In the secular sphere, however, the king could provide a distinguished servant a noble position. In both these circumstances, changes of social position were essentially inherited.

The caste system, on the other hand, suffers from irreparable inequality created by divinity as it is believed. Hence, no caste member could rise or improve upon his position in the caste system even as an exceptional case.

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