Original Study

Open Access



The Dynamics of Caste Identity and Social Mobility in Contemporary India: A Sociological Analysis

Kalpanaben B. Chaudhari

DIP: 18.02.016/20180304

DOI: 10.25215/2455/0304016

Received: June 25, 2024; Revision Received: June 25, 2024; Accepted: June 25, 2024


This paper explores the dynamics of caste identity and social mobility in contemporary India, examining the intricate interplay between social stratification, inequality, and mobility within the context of a diverse and rapidly changing society. Drawing on a range of theoretical frameworks, empirical evidence, and sociological insights, the paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the persistence of caste-based inequalities and barriers to social mobility, as well as the implications of these dynamics for Indian society and beyond. The paper begins with a historical overview of the caste system in India, tracing its origins, evolution, and enduring impact on social, economic, and cultural structures. It highlights the significance of caste identity as a salient marker of social identity, shaping individuals’ access to resources, opportunities, and social interactions. Despite efforts towards social reform and affirmative action, caste-based inequalities persist, perpetuating intergenerational cycles of poverty and exclusion for marginalized caste groups. Building on this foundation, the paper introduces relevant sociological theories of social mobility and examines their applicability to the Indian context. It analyzes the challenges and opportunities for social mobility within caste-based societies, identifying factors such as education, occupation, and economic status that influence individuals’ mobility trajectories. Empirical analysis of social mobility trends in contemporary India reveals persistent disparities and inequalities across caste lines, with individuals from privileged caste backgrounds enjoying higher levels of upward mobility compared to those from marginalized caste groups. The implications of caste identity and social mobility for Indian society are profound and far-reaching. Caste-based divisions undermine social cohesion, economic development, and political stability, hindering efforts towards national integration and inclusive growth. Moreover, caste-based discrimination violates fundamental human rights and perpetuates social injustices, perpetuating intergroup tensions and hindering progress towards social justice and equality. In light of these findings, the paper concludes with recommendations for policymakers, social activists, and stakeholders to address caste-based inequalities and promote social mobility in India. It emphasizes the importance of strengthening legal protections, investing in education and skills development, implementing affirmative action policies, promoting economic empowerment, fostering social cohesion, and advocating for social justice. By prioritizing policies and interventions that address the root causes of caste-based discrimination and exclusion, stakeholders can advance the vision of a more just, equitable, and inclusive society for all members of Indian society and beyond.

The authors profoundly appreciate all the people who have successfully contributed to ensuring this paper in place. Their contributions are acknowledged however their names cannot be mentioned.

The author declared no conflict of interest.

This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Responding Author Information

Kalpanaben B. Chaudhari @ info.ijcst@gmail.com

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Article Overview

ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

DIP: 18.02.016/20180304

DOI: 10.25215/2455/0304016

Published in

Volume 03, Issue 4, October – December, 2018

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