Social Institutions: Continuity And Change

Social Institutions: Continuity And Change


How is tribe different from caste?


Contrast between the composition of the caste and the tribe.

(a) A tribe theoretically is a territorial group while a caste is a socio-cultural group. When a tribe loses its territorial character, it takes the form of a caste.

(b) Each tribe has its own distinct language than the other but it is not the case with a caste. A tribe never imposes restrictions on its members regarding the choice of occupation but a caste usually promotes hereditary occupations and the principle of birth.

(c) Caste and tribe emphasise and perpetuate collective identities in strikingly similar ways. A caste or tribe may change its name and also its mode of livelihood and still retains its collective identity.

(d) The tribes have segmentary, egalitarian system and are not mutually inter-dependent like the castes which show a system of stratification and organic solidarity.

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