ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Towards a Historical Sociology of Stratification in Ancient India-Evidence from Buddhist Sources

Towards a Historical Sociology of Stratification in Ancient India Evidence from Buddhist Sources Uma Chakravarti Sociological analyses of stratification in India have in recent years raised new issues relating to the caste system, particularly its existence at the level of the infrastructure. But in the existing state of knowledge the issue of whether caste is infrastructure or super-structure cannot be subjected to a meaningful analysis because of the inadequacies of the data used by scholars who have relied primarily on secondary sources. Before one can argue that caste constituted infrastructure, or was part of the superstructure, we need to have a full-fledged diachronic study of caste which combines Indology with history and anthropology: there is need for both chronological clarity and the rigorous use of sources. There is also a need to show the relation between caste categories and other social and economic categories over time.

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