Prejudice and Discrimination SOC-120

Essay by 4myharleyCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2008

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Week 2 Assignment: Prejudice and Discrimination Article4myharleySOC-120Prejudice and Discrimination ArticleIndia is a diverse country with many culturally diverse sects or castes. Differing traditions equal reasons for division amongst the various peoples within this country, which is approximately one-third the size of the United States according to the Encyclopedia of the Nations (2007). Division in turn equals prejudice and discrimination against those in the lower echelons of society. The largest amount of population of India belongs to what is known as the caste community (Clarke, 2002). At the pinnacle of the Indian societal hierarchy is the group known as the Brahmins. The Brahmins are the priests who preserve and protect the eternal laws of the universe, or Dharma. The Brahmins can only serve as teachers, poets, and scholars in the Indian community, but cannot ever be a part of the ruling class. The ruling class, however, typically give respect and devotion to these "gurus" in return for their service.

The next step down from the Brahmins in societal ranking is the Ksatriyas, whose primary function is to guarantee the safety and security of the communities through defense. The Ksatriyas are known as the rulers and warriors of the caste community. The name, Ksatriyas, means "holder of the ksatra," or "holder of authority." Next are the Vaisyas, or businesspersons, who function is to conserve and distribute wealth throughout the castes. Some members of the Vaisyas caste are traders or peasant farmers, though all are considered businesspersons. Most Vaisyas are specialists in their particular branch of trade. While some deal exclusively with precious metals, others deal only with spices, some jewelry, or furniture, or cloth, etc. Traditionally, Vaisyas are vegetarians and religious zealous giving particular reverence to Laksmi, the goddess of wealth.

At the lowest level of the caste community are the Sudras,