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The paper we are basically going to discuss and compare and contrast on the issues highlighting on socialization in the in Asia specifically India, China and Japan during the western intervention and the pre- modernization periods. Social stratification is defined to as the act of dividing individuals/society into different social ranks according to an individual’s power, wealth, economical status and prestige. This is a way that that aims at placing different social classes in the society as a result of evaluation of an individuals worth in the society. Thus will definitely result to the different classes in the society today as a result of the type of influence an individual has in the society that he lives in; this will ensure that an individual in the society is accorded their status in the society as a result of ones possession.
Social Stratification can also relate to Social Class that is defined as the division of a society into different sections as a result of the positions of an individual. As a result it provides unequal distribution of basic needs and services; in view of the fact that one section of the society is accorded significant more privileges than the others in the society. This is so because the individual possesses more income, wealth, lifestyle than others in a society; this difference will definitely result to the different classes of individuals in the society.
Social stratification is a common practice that is encountered in the world today this is by considering certain factors that include the racial, ethnical, education level, tribe, and financial status amongst other factors. It should be noted that this kind of practice can be dated from way back in history when there was this type of practice in the society as some of the common occurrences are the cases of racial discrimination in the United States of America and the most recent cases of Apartheid in South Africa. This practice has also been experienced from way back in history in the African, Asian and other societies. This is where some individuals in the society were provided with a lot of privileges than others in the society; this is because of the wealth and power they possessed, and this trait has been carried on to the present date.
Social Stratification in India before Western Intervention
India is notoriously noticed for the practice of social stratification which has stuck to the recent days, in recent past before westernization in India took place the Indian community (Society ) was divided into different classes that were well known as castes. The use of castes was a way in which the Indian community was classified into different sections that strictly noted the roles and responsibilities of each member in the society; thus ensuring that the individuals stick to their class and don’t move or relate to an individual from another class.
An individual in India belongs to a given caste by default and this is when an individual is born to a given caste the child will definitely belong in that caste even without question. Thus one had to be what the parents were in the society this is because the caste system of an individual was hereditary.
The caste system in the India community was divided into different groups which includes Brahmins which composed of scholars, teachers, fire priests. The second group was composed of Vaishyas composing of agriculturists, cattle raisers, traders, bankers. The other section included the Kshatriyas that was composed of kings, warriors, law enforcers, administrators; the fourth group included the Shudras which composed of artisans, craftsmen, service providers, while the other group was the Chandalas outcasts who were seen as foreigners, nomads and also dealt with the disposal of the dead.
These castes were generally used by the Indian authority to maintain this form of social differences amongst the Indians in the community. At the same time promoted some form of respect in the society this is as a result of an individuals respecting a member of a caste that is higher than his/ her and thus discouraging inter cast marriages amongst the Indians. This ensured that a person from a given caste is supposed to marry another person from his/her own caste and cannot be allowed to marry another person from a caste that is higher or lower than his/her own.
This form of social stratification was also extended to the dietary choices and styles of these individuals this is when the individuals from a higher caste like the Brahmins will not in any incident eat any food that is prepared from the people from the caste that is lower than their caste. This applied to the other castes which strictly observed this rule of not eating any meal that was prepared by a caste group that is of a lowers rank than them. But lower caste can accept a meal that is presented to them by the caste that is higher than them. This is an indication that a caste was a very strict rule that structured the social status of the Indians.
There was also a possibility of an individual from a lower class to transform from his lower caste position to the point of rising higher in the cast; as a result of observing and practicing the activities of the higher caste or even achieving political power for wining a political seat. This would result to achieving political power that would necessarily result to the individual gaining power that will see the individual getting an increase in his caste. As a result of the changes, the career of the individual would sky rocket making him/her change the caste which will be supported by the power (Political) the individual has achieved.
Social stratification in China and Japan during their pre-modernization period
The pre –modernization period can be estimated from way back is 14th century all the way to the 18th century; this was a period that can be characterized by a smaller level of communication and advanced technology. Thus it ensured that just like the Indians the Japanese and the Chinese practicing the use of social stratifications as a way of introducing social class in the society.
In Japan and China social class of an individual was defined as a result of the individuals gender, wealth, power and occupation; these are just similar cases just like in India where the social class of an individual was classified as a result of the occupation and social background of an individual.
A state like China was a capitalist country before the modernization period and the trend has changed drastically after the modernization this is when they concentrated more on a communist’s type of society where each member of the Chinese was considered to the equal amongst the others. On the other hand, in Japan the women were considered to be less privileged in that they were not given the opportunity to express themselves openly as they were classified at the same level with children. They were supposed to basically stay in the kitchen and not have any influence in any social gathering.
Comparison between Social stratification in China and Japan in the pre-modernization period and Social Stratification in India before Western Intervention
In both cases an individual is judged or placed in a specific class /caste as a result of an individual’s occupation or placing in the society. This is indicates that an individual is classified in a caste this is after a close scrutiny of an individuals occupation. This was a way the social class of an individual will be easily identified thus dividing the different people in the society into various classes.
In both cases there was little consideration of an individual intellectual ability but it strictly observes an individuals material wealth. This is specifically identified in the society as an individual who is wealthy will be given a lot of privileges than the other individuals in the society. While at the same time an individual who isn’t considered wealthy but possesses intelligence isn’t considered to be very influential in the society thus they won’t be given the respect as a result of an individual lack of wealth.
In both the social stratifications between the Chinese and Indians, the women weren’t given the opportunity of expressing themselves in public. This is because the women were considered as a weaker sex and are not supposed to talk with people in public places but they were designated to conduct there duties only in the kitchen but not in the social events.
In both the cases of social stratifications in China and India an individuals will belong in one specific social class by default this is as a result of birth, sex, age, language and the place of birth. This will definitely make an individual to be in the position of being classified as an individual who will be most influential as a result of the individuals background.
In both the Japanese and Indians social stratifications was structured in a way in an ascending manner, in that an individual who has the highest financial influence and income and power will be in a position of getting a lot of respect and recognition in the society. This type of respect will tend to decrease as an individual from a social group that is less equivalent with will receive little respect all the way down the ladder to a point of outcast who is less respected in the community. In both the cultural practices it has emerged that the Chinese, Japanese and Indian had a low ranking group of people who were considered as out casts and no group from a higher level wanted or was in a position of socializing with them and they were basically alienated individuals who were not seen as normal people who had no reason for living.
Differences between Social stratification in China and Japan pre-modernization period and Social Stratification in India before Western Intervention
One major difference between these social stratifications of these different communities is that the Indians are totally disconnected with the other individuals from the other castes. For instance, an individual from a higher caste didn’t eat any meal that was prepared by the person of the other group; while the Chinese and Japan didn’t observe this rule as they freely mixed with the other individuals from the other caste groups.
The Chinese and Japanese made it easy for an individual to rise from his traditional social group to the other class much more easily as the culture of the Chinese advocated for fairness amongst others. The Indians didn’t encourage the climbing of an individual from one caste to the other this is because they strictly discourage the mingling of individuals from other caste groups.
Another different between these social groups is when the Chinese and Japanese gave the women some little responsibility in the society; this is especially when the Japanese women were given more authority to perform certain duties. They included family caring, farming and even they played a significant role in the Samurai war; thus contributing to the women on the Japanese community to be considered to be a most significant part of the Japan community. While the Indians never gave their women any significant role but only minor roles whose impressions weren’t even felt in the society; thus the Indians looked down upon women as compared to the Chinese and Japanese.
The other difference between the Indians and the Chinese social culture is that the Chinese were in a position of collaborating with the other people from the different caste. This is when the people from the lower caste were the people from the other caste will be in a position of working for the people from the other class. This is where the individual will be in a position of serving them and even preparing for them food and other. The Indians wouldn’t allow the other people from the other caste to come into their homes and prepare for them food or even wash their clothes and they discouraged contact or interaction between the individuals from a lower cast to associate with them.