AN EXAMINATION OF STATUS CHARACTERISTICS IN A
CASTE COMMUNITY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION
STEVEN KENT MILLION
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The problem discussed in this dissertation concerns the criteria of status assignment in a Nepalese community. Specifically, the study seeks to identify the factors related to status through use of a methodology developed for that purpose. The treatment of that topic does not require additional comment here beyond a brief explanation of the reason it was selected for study.
In 1970 I was assigned duties as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Chitlang, Nepal. While in service there, the Nepalese won my permanent affection and respect, through their hospitality, their cultural pride, their commitment to modernization, and their great physical and moral strengths. Whatever I may have succeeded in teaching the Nepalese was repaid many times by the lessons I learned from them. I am forever in their debt.
The impetus for this study grew out of personal observations of the unique characteristics of South Asian caste social structure. In my Peace Corps capacity as coordinator of a national program in viticulture, it was my good fortune to travel throughout the country. In each town or village, I observed the paradoxical influence of a pluralistic social system based on a foundation of caste distinctions. These social influences were paradoxical in that they seemed capable of uplifting, stabilizing, and humiliating all caste groups simultaneously. What a western observer might find unsavory in the caste system's capability to humiliate, would often conflict with a more positive view of the social stability it could command. These impressions were reaffirmed during my second visit to
Nepal in 1976, at which time I gathered the data for the present study. Hopefully, this dissertation will assist all persons interested in caste societies to better understand what constitutes status in such social orders, and what meaning status attainment may hold for education.
My debts of gratitude include many persons both in Nepal and at the University of Florida. Mr. Prakashmani A. Dixit was my tireless teacher, guide, and friend throughout the field component of this study. To Prakash I extend my most sincere appreciation. Mr. Mossaddi Mallick, Deputy Director of Peace Corps/Nepal, was very generous with his time and concern, and deserves special thanks. A third Nepalese, Mr. Binod Kumar Sharma served as my research assistant both in Kathmandu and at the study site. To Binod is extended my admiration and thanks for his patience, research skill, and dedication to the project.
Special mention should be made of my debt to my committee chairman, Robert L. Curran, who assumed direction of this dissertation at a time when the work demanded of a chairman was at its greatest. Dr. Curran's acceptance of this responsibility, and especially his capacity to transform the drudgery of writing into an experience of learning, are deserving of my most genuine thanks. Dr. Curran was preceded as chairman by Drs. Hal G. Lewis and Richard R. Renner. Both Dr. Lewis and Dr. Renner were most helpful in the earlier stages of this project, and for their direction and friendship, I am most grateful. Finally, special thanks are extended to committee members Dr. Waldamir Olson, Dr. Doyle Casteel, and Dr. Arthur Newman. Their advice and encouragement is sincerely appreciated.
S. K. M.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . .
LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . .
I. THE PROBLEM . . . . . . . . .
Introduction . . . . . .
Purpose . . . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis . . . . . . . . .
Definition of Terms .
Delimitations of the Study .
Organization of Remainder of
II. THEORIES OF STATUS AND CASTE .
Organization of the Present Chapter
Status . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caste . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Summary of the Literature Reviewed III. DEMOGRAPHIC DIMENSIONS OF THE STUDY.
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . .
Geography . . . . . . . . . . . .
Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .
General History . . . . . . . .
Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . .
iv vii viii
History of Education . . . . . . . . . . .
Educational Organization . . . . . . . . . . .
Enrollment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Study Site . . . . . . . . . . .
IV. RESEARCH PROCEDURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Deviations From Previously Developed Models.
The Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Determination of the Number of Status Strata a
Individual Average Placement Ratios (A.P.R.)
V. FINDINGS OF THE STUDY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Usefulness of the Method . . . . . . . . .
Characteristics of the Sample Population . . .
Analytical Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Other Important Findings . . . . . . . . . . .
Implications of the Findings for Education . .
VI. SUMMARY OF THE STUDY . . . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A. NEPAL (Zones and Development Districts) . . . . .
. . . . 34 . . . . 39 . . . . 43 . . . . 46 . . . . 51 . . . . 51 . . . . 52 . . . . 54
. . . . 60 . . . . 64
. . . 64 . . . . 66 . . . . 82 . . . . 86 . . . . 89 . . . . 89
. . . 94
B. Proposed National Educational Capabilities in Nepal
By Educational Divisions (Projection for 1985). . . .
C. Flow Chart Indicating Process of "Student Flow" for
Nepalese Students in Grades I through X with Relative
Percentages of Student Enrollment to School-Age Population by Grade-Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D. First Questionnarie Used With Interviewees From the
Nine Wards of Jotpur Punchayat . . . . . . . . . . .
E. Questionnaire Used With Twenty-Five Preliminary Judges. . 107
F. Forty-Two Objective Questions Asked of the Sixty Subjects Selected for Inclusion in the Study Population. . 112
G. Instructions Provided Each of the Twenty-Five Final
Judges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
H. Condescriptive Statistical Information for the Variables
Land, Caste, Religion, Education, and A.P.R. . . 120 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
LIST OF TABLES
4.1 Percentage of Placements Per Stratum for the Ten
Judges Designating a Five-Strata Configuration .
4.2 Division of A.P.R. Scores Into Five Units Based on
the Average Percentage of Placements Per Stratum . . . 5.1 Breakdown of the Sample by Caste Membership . . . . . . 5.2 Status Configuration and Relative Numerical Parameters .
5.3 Chi Square Contingency Table for the Variables A.P.R.
and Caste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.4 The Magnitude and Significance of Four Variables Related to Status Assignment in Jotpur . . . . . . . .
5.5 Variables in the Multiple Regression Equation for Jotpur Punchayat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.6 Chi Square Contingency Table for the Variables A.P.R.
and Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.7 Summary of Correlation Coefficients Among All Variables Examined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.8 Chi Square Contingency Table for the Variables A.P.R.
and Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.9 Chi Square Contingency Table for the Variables A.P.R.
and Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . 62
. . . 63
. . . 65
. . . 66 . . . 68
. . . 72
. . . 73
. . . 75
S. . 78 . . . 80
. . . 83
LIST OF FIGURES
3.1 Organization of Administration and Supervision of
Education in Nepal (with Recommended Modifications) . . . . 41 5.1 Scatter Diagram of the Variables A.P.R. x Caste . . . . . . . 69
5.2 Scatter Diagram of the Variables A.P.R. x Education . . . . . 76 5.3 Scatter Diagram of the Variables A.P.R. x Land . . . . . . . 81
5.4 Scatter Diagram of the Variables A.P.R. x Religion . . . . . 84
Abstract of Disseration Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
AN EXAMINATION OF STATUS CHARACTERISTICS IN A
CASTE COMMUNITY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION
Steven Kent Million
Chairman: Robert L. Curran
Major Department: Foundations of Education
Factors related to status assignment in a caste community are
identified through a procedure developed for that purpose. The procedure
was adapted from the Participant Observer methodology, and emphasized
in situ scheduled interviews, subject determination of the status ranks
of community members, and chi-square, scatter diagram, and multiple
regression analyses. Among the factors found to be significantly related to status were ownership of land and formal education. Caste membership and religion were not significantly related to status. Other data indicated that local residents believed their community to be organized in
a five-strata status hierarchy. Such a hierarchy was held to be the
exclusive domain of males. Status was not assigned to women and children
except as a reflection of the status attributed to the adult males with whom they were most closely associated. Males with large land holdings
and formal educational training were generally awarded high status.
However, highly educated males with little land or other forms of wealth
were generally not assigned to high status rank. The findings suggest that (1) community residents do not assign status to themselves or others solely on the basis of caste membership, and that (2) the importance of caste membership to individual status is secondary to the greater influences of landownership and education.
Social inequality is characteristic of every known human society. Its frequent occurrence may suggest the existence of intrinsic, universal factors within social structures which generate inequality. Its nature is variable, providing for divergent functions, and differing in structure and degree of influence.
An element of social inequality central to the present research is social status and factors related to its attainment. Previous studies in this area have focused most often upon the social and status characteristics of American society. In light of the potentially variable nature of inequality, this study will examine status factors in a caste community. The findings of this research may provide greater understanding of social inequality affecting a large proportion of the world's population, and through comparison with earlier findings, offer prospect of more thorough analysis of the alleged universal nature of structural factors which give rise to inequality.
The purpose of this study is to examine status structure in a caste community, and identify and measure those factors related to different status positions. A corollary purpose is to specify status-related implications for education in the caste community studied.
The present research represents a three-stage study, the first two stages of which generate hypotheses. In the first stage it is posited that a method can be developed capable of detecting status factors in a caste society. This hypothesis is based upon research findings from studies of social structures which did not exhï¿½bit traditional caste characteristics, and relies upon data collected from extensive interviews with residents of the study area. The second stage of the research represents the actual use of the developed method. The final stage is an analysis of the data gathered from the interviews. Concerning these data, it is posited that caste, land-ownership, education, and religion are status factors related significantly to status assignment.
Definition of Terms
Concepts of social science may be subject to cultural misinterpretation. This is reasonable in view of the fact that social concepts derive from specific cultures. To minimize such misunderstanding, several terms are defined in this section.
Social stratification should be understood as pertaining to subordinate-superordinate divisions of human society according to certain arbitrary, widely understood criteria. The criteria are arbitrary in that they accrue from social values which may or may not have crosscultural significance. They are widely understood and transmitted as essential to common perception of social motivations, rewards, and sanctions.
The term status is used extensively throughout this study and is
intended to represent the collective social evaluations of an individual's position, station, and stratum in relation to other community members. As such, it represents a single point on a theoretical social scale.
Caste is a concept often misunderstood and frequently misused.
For purposes of this study, it should be understood in the traditional Hindu context. As such, it can be defined as a hierarchy of endogamous groups, organized in hereditary divisions of labor, and guided by Vedic law emphasizing concepts of physical and spiritual pollution. Delimitations of the Study
This study is delimited to the identification of status characteristics in a caste community, and analysis of their meanings for education. Statistical analysis of the study data is confined to chi-square, scatter diagram, and multiple regression tests for significance at the .05 level. The study is generalizable to the area studied, but is not proposed as representative of all caste communities. The reader should also understand that although this study is initially concerned with procedure construction, its more fundamental aim transcends such purpose. The more vital aim is the identification of status factors in a caste community. For this reason the study should not be read in the narrow, technical context of instrument construction.
Organization of the Remainder of the Study
In Chapter II literature pertinent to status and caste is reviewed. Reported are social theories deemed applicable to the present research. The chapter concludes with a general summary of the literature. Chapter
III is a demographic survey of Nepal and the community studied. Such information is included as background for a reader not thoroughly familiar with the region on interest as needed to interpret the study findings. Chapter IV is a presentation of research procedures, including a description of the method used to gather and analytically relate data. Chapter V reports relevant findings and educational implications. Chapter VI is a summary of the entire study.
THEORIES OF STATUS AND CASTE
Organization of the Present Chapter
Research and the development of theories related to social stratification have been extensive. Scholars have studied such problems for centuries. Yet for all their effort, knowledge of the reasons underlying social stratification or of its varied social effects, has made little progress. Therefore, the review of literature presented in this chapter should be read as illustrative of the theoretical basis upon which this study is founded, and not as an exhaustive review of
the myriad social theories presented since the time of Aristotle. The chapter is organized in three sections. The first section reviews the literature from which emerges the social concept, "status," as it is used in this study. A second section surveys literature concerned with clarifying the meaning of caste, and specifies the interpretation used in the present research. The chapter concludes with a summary of the literature reviewed.
A status represents the most elemental unit of a social structure.2 It defines its possessor's potential for social interaction. A status
Aristotle, Politics, in Robert M. Hutchins, Great Books of the Western World, Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., p. 1254-B.
2William M. Dobriner, Social Structures and Systems; A Sociological
Overview, Pacific Palisades, California: Goodyear Publishing Company, Inc., 1969, P. 82.
also serves as a locational indicator, specifying an individual's relative position in a social system.3 In essence, status defines who a person is and what is expected of him. Some social theorists have attempted to redefine status as pertinent only to behaviors highly circumscribed by social norms.4 However, for purposes of the present study, status should be understood as a locational concept without reference to the degree of influence engendered by social norms.5
Status is a phenomenon of social organization. The specific nature of statuses is not intrinsic to men, and often vary from one social order
to the next. Among the most common bases of status are such characteristics as age, sex, geneology, and wealth.7 All individuals possess such statuses to greater or lesser degrees, but assessments of the meaning of status possession is dictated by the greater social order. Acquisition of status is commonly unintentional--such as at birth. However, wealth, education, and other purposefully acquired resources can be used to purchase or win environs conducive to improved status.8 It follows that loss of such highly valued social circumstances could result in diminished status.
3Jonathan H. Turner, Patterns of Social Organization, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972, p. 4.
4Wi-1iam J. Goode, "Norm Commitment and Conformity to Role-Status
Obligations," American Journal of Sociology, 1960, 66, 3, Nov., pp. 246-258.
5It is in fact not status but role that represents the adjustive behavior of persons striving to conform to norms.
6Morris Zelditch, in "Status," International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, David L. Sills (editor), New York: The Macmillan Company and the Free Press, 1968, Vol. 15, p. 250.
8T. H. Marshall, "Social Class - A Preliminary Analysis," The Sociological Review (British), 26, January, 1934, pp. 73-74.
All persons possess more than one status. No single status in any known social order can totally encompass an individual.9 Ralph Linton argues that statuses are both ascribed and achieved.10 Status which is ascribed is imparted to individuals based on evaluations of birth, sex, age, and other relatively uncontrollable circumstances. Status achievement, on the other hand, is possible through development of special abilities and knowledges, especially when such can be used competitively. It is through ascription that most statuses are obtained.11 Nonetheless, only the sum total of all statuses, ascribed and achieved, represents the actual status of an individual.12 If Linton's analysis is correct, it seems imperative that each individual learn the process of assigning status to persons with whom they may have contact. Such assignment would of necessity be consistent with other members of the same social group. W. Lloyd Warner writes in his study of social differentiation in Jonesville, that interviewees indicated highly consistent notions of social organization and that
The status levels outlined by them are in general
agreement. Perhaps the most critical and decisive proof of the general recognition of class in Jonesville is that those who mention names not only place a large number of the same families but place these
families in the same class.
9Zelditch, op. cit., p. 251.
10Ralph Linton, The Study of Man, New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1936, p. 115.
11Ibid., p. 115.
12John W. Bennett and Melvin Tumin, Social Life: Structure and Function, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948, pp. 94-96.
The chances that this agreement among them is purely
(coincidental) and not a well-recognized social
phenomenon are very few. It seems highly probable
that the citizens of Jonesville know and think about class behavior and that this knowledge is one of the basic guides to proper and adaptive behavior for all
Adoption and use of status criteria need not be purposeful. The use of such factors does not imply community consciousness of status factor specifics, origins, or rationale.14 Yet it does seem apparent that learning the procedures for assignment of status is important in all social orders. This idea is bolstered by theories of social organization developed independently by George H. Mead,15 Max Weber,16 and Florian Znaniecke.17 They argue that cultural meaning and values are learned, and emphasize the cohesive social effects of communication and socialization which may lead to designation of individual status and its relative position within the social order.
Social status is best understood relative to a counter-status. The fundamental unit of social system analysis, therefore, is not status itself, but the relationship between two or more statuses.18
13W. Lloyd Warner, Marcia Meeker, and Kenneth Eells, Social Class in America, Chicago: Science Research Associates, Inc., 1949, p. 18.
1401iver Cromwell Cox, Caste, Class, and Race, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1959, p. 294.
15George H. Mead, Mind, Self, and Society. . ., Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1934.
16Max Weber, Economy and Society. . ., G. Roth and C. Wittich (editors), New York: Bedminster Press, 1968.
17Florian Znaniecke, Cultural Sciences: Their Urigin and Development, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1963.
18Zelditch, loc. cit.
Merton delineates three basic status categories including "role set," "status set," and "status sequence."19 A "role set" is composed of other-person or object statuses to which an individual constantly compares himself. Ail statuses representative of the individual comprise his "status set," and the step-by-step process through which he comes to be himself, establishes his "status sequence." Understanding status in this manner permits the concept to be treated as a property of actors--as a status characteristic--as well as a unit within a social order. According to this interpretation, the status of a single individual (actor) may function in social systems other than the system of which it is a fundamental component, because it is a property of the actor as well as the social unit.20 For example, professor of education is a status in a university, and represents various properties such as direct influence in departmental policy-making. A particular professor of education may also serve on a county school board where awareness of his university status may substantially affect the attitudes of other board members toward him, although professor of education is not a status within the school board.
When sociologists examine status in social systems, it is not because status has priority over alternative concepts in explaining individual behavior, but because it is the most elementary component
19Robert K. Merton, "Continuities in the Theory of Reference Groups and Social Structures," in Social Theory and Social Structure, Second Edition, Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, 1959, pp. 281-286.
20Fred L. Strodtbeck, Rita M. James, and Charles Hawkins, "Social Status in Jury Deliberations," in Readings in Social Psychology, Third Edition, New York: Holt, 1958, pp. 379-388.
of social systems. In the connotations of status presented above, status denotes evaluation; hence honor, esteem, respect, prestige, and
privilege are its synonyms.21 Status in this context is viewed as highly desirable. Opportunities to improve status are actively sought in nearly all of the world's social orders.22 Likewise, efforts are made to prevent its loss.23 When such preventative behavior fails, individuals who have lost status become angry and exhibit agressive behavior toward other groups within the social system.24 Such behavior is likely the result of widely-held views concerning the importance of individual and group status.
Characterisitcs such as sex, religion, caste, and ethnic background may be differentially evaluated within a social order. By separating such characterisitcs from the particular actors who possess them, it is possible to analyze the properties of a specific status
structure.25 Because status structures tend to be stable, it is possible to formulate conditional statements and predictions. For example, Max Weber writes that possessors of high status will in time acquire great wealth and those who possess wealth will eventually attain
21Zelditch, op. cit., p. 253.
22Seymour M. Lipset and Hans L. Zetterburg, "A Theory of Social Mobility," in Transactions, London: International Sociological Association, 1956, pp. 155-177.
23James F. Short and Fred L. Strodtbeck, Group Process and Gang Delinquency, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.
24Joseph Greenblum and Leonard I. Pearlin, "Vertical Mobility and Prejudice: A Socio-Psychological Analysis," in Reinhard Bendix and Seymour M. Lipsit (editors), Class, Status, and Power: A Reader in. Social Stratification, Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, 1953, pp. 480-491.
25Zelditch, op. cit., p. 254.
high status.26 Weber's predictions are based on certain assumptions about status structure stability. Benoit-Smullyan took Weber's postulate a step further predicting that the prohibition of movement from status to wealth or wealth to status would result in development of a revolutionary impetus for change in the relevant status structure.27 It is a combination of status stability and community awareness of status structure which forms the theoretical basis for methodological design discussed in Chapter IV.
The purpose of this study is identification of the status characteristics in a caste community. Prior to such identification, however, it is essential to understand the nature of social stratification in caste orders. Gerald Berreman contends that caste systems are rigid systems of social stratification, but that they are also systems of socio-cultural pluralism. Both of these ideas, he suggests, are best understood in terms of distinctive patterns of social interaction.28 He proposes that the only valid view of caste requires recognition of the dimensions stratification, pluralism, and interaction.
26Max Weber, "Class, Status, Party," in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, translated and edited by Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, New York: Oxford University Press, 1946, pp. 180-195.
2Emile Benoit-Smullyan, "Status, Status Types, and Status Interrelations," American Sociological Review, 9, 1944, 151-161.
2Gerald D. Berreman, "Stratification, Pluralism, and Interaction: A Comparative Analysis of Caste," in Anthony de Reuch and Julie Knight, Caste and Race: Comparative Approaches, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1967, p. 51.
. . a caste system occurs where a society is made
up of birth-ascribed groups which are hierarchially ordered and culturally distinct. The hierarchy entails differential evaluation, rewards, and association.29
Drawing distinctions between caste and class, Berreman indicates that within caste systems individuals display the attributes of their caste because they are members of it, while in a class system, individuals are members of a class because they display its attributes. Further, a caste system (one of the birth-ascribed groups) represents and defines for its membership the limit of status-equal interaction, and among all groups with parameters of interaction arranged hierarchially. Within these rigidly defined cultural boundaries, Berreman indicates that inter-caste pluralism is present. Nonetheless, castes can function as systems only if members share common understandings. Thus caste systems combine the principles of stratification and pluralism. A caste system resembles a pluralistic society whose unique sections are ranked vertically. A pluralistic society resembles a caste system with groups (exclusive of the dominant one) unranked relative to all others.
Berreman indicates that use of ranking and cultural distinctiveness allows caste systems to be distinguished from other important social systems. He proposes that there is within caste not only metaphysical structure, but also a "state of mind."30 He also suggests that "oppression" is a common feature of caste, but it is not an inherent feature.
29Ibid., p. 48.
30Ibid., p. 60.
What is inherent is the unavoidable
imposition of birth-ascribed and unalterable membership in ranked, mutually isolated but interacting
groups with conspicuously different life experiences, life chances, and public esteem. This fact - birthascribed rank - seems to have common and distinctive psychological and behavioral consequences for people
wherever it occurs.31
Presently, scholars tend to view the concept of caste from one of two perspectives. The first envisages the American social order in its relationships among Negroes and whites, as exemplifying a caste order. This group focuses upon social stratification in the United States and finds it analogous to systems in India exhibiting
Hindu religious-based castes.32 Opposing.theorists believe that comparison of American social organization to Indian castes is essentially inappropriate. Their positions are most clearly reflected in the writings of Simpson and Yinger,33 Cox, 34 and Johnson.35
Caste systems are social orders normally characterized by rigid
vertical demarcation, generally restricted mobility, ascribed occupation and status, and elaborate systems of inter-caste etiquette.36 This is
32W. Lloyd Warner, "American Caste and Class," American Journal of Sociology, XLII, 2, September, 1936, pp. 234-237.
33G. E. Simpson and J. M. Yinger, Racial and Cultural Minorities, New York: Harper Publishing, 1965.
34Cox, op. cit.
35Charles C. Johnson, Growing Up in the Black Belt, Washington, D.C., American Council in Education, 1941.
36F. G. Bailey, "Closed Social Stratification in India," Archives of European Sociology, 4, (1965), pp. .107-124.
not to suggest, however, that such a description is totally adequate. In fact, it is just such depictions of caste that cause confusion.
When any social system is composed of units separated by distinct, nearly impermeable barriers, commonality of values and behaviors is rare. Such is the structural condition of plural societies and, conspicuously,
of caste orders. Yet any social order exhibiting marked stratification must formulate a general consensus for criteria of rank assignment. Caste systems seem to combine these principles of stratification and pluralism. That is, caste orders appear as plural societies with vertically ranked and discrete divisions.38
The most obvious disparity between the American and Indian caste systems is the American emphasis on human physical features. It seems 39 40
likely that Warner,39 and later Myrdal,40 used the term "caste" to differentiate Negro-white relations in the South from the characteristic "class" system of the broader nation. It may be that their decisions to use the term were based in greater part upon failure to recognize heterodoxical class orders, than upon discovery of hidden castes. In any case, their decisions were likely influenced by the function of social rules engendered in both India and the United States urging endogamy, and exalting the purity of upper "caste" women.41 Whatever
37M. G. Smith, The Plural Society in the British West Indies, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965.
38Berreman, op. cit., pp. 52-57
39Warner, op. cit.
40Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem in Modern Democracy, New York: Harper and Row, 1962.
41E. R. Leach, "Introduction: What Should We Mean By Caste?" in E. R. Leach (editor), Aspects of Caste in South India, Ceylon, and North-West Pakistan, Cambridge: University Press, 1960.
Warner and Myrdal's motivations for using the term, they argued emphatically that caste within the system of southern stratification was social and not biological. That is to say, a person was judged to be a Negro or a white on the basis of his (or her) appearance and behavior. American preoccupation with race led Kingsley Davis to write that
a non-racial system, such as the Hindu, is one in which the criterion of caste status is primarily
descent symbolized in purely socio-economic terms;
while a racial system is one in which the criterion is primarily physiognomic, usually chromatic, with
socio-economic differences implied. 42
Another potential contrast between the Indian and American social systems is related to their social values. In India, Hindu religious values emphasize previous-life actions as determinate of present caste assignment, and an unquestioning acceptance of ascribed rank and its associated behaviors. There are apparently few American counterparts to such social values. In fact, although more often paid "lip-service" than applied, contemporary Americans generally believe in the basic equality of mankind. Americans also believe that most persons can alter their condition by amassing talents, skills, and wealth.
Another important distinction between the two systems is evident in their very structures. In the "Old South" there developed an essentially bilateral order - whites and others. An outsider, although unfamiliar with the region, could easily recognize members of either "caste." In India it is estimated that there are as many as 400 major castes and
42Kingsley Davis, "Intermarriage in a Caste Society," American Anthropologist, 43, (1941), 386-387.
nearly 4,000 "jatis" or subcastes. In the absence of "chromatic" or other factors or recognition, there is little chance of identifying all castes based solelyupon observation of physical or behavior characteristics.43
The "Old South" tradition was characterized by a dichotomous
hierarchy which placed "pure" whites above all other persons. Among Hindu societies there is no single rank order of castes or "jatis" applicable to every situation. Brahmins are always "high" and Harijans "low," but tremendous ambiguity clouds distinctions among the intermediate rankings. Furthermore, each major caste is subdivided, allowing some Brahmins to claim rank superior to other Brahmins.44 Ail final decisions concerning relative caste rank tend to be a function of local communities based on local interpretation of Vedic law and the history of local caste development.45
Beteille suggested that there was a basic structural difference between a dichotomous system (as in the United States), and a system of gradation (as in India).46 Such structural diversity can produce
43It should be pointed out, however, that skin color holds meaning for many Hindus as well. Although high caste Hindus may exhibit skin colors ranging from nearly black to nearly white, most are light-skinned. Likewise, lower castes display a broad range of skin colors, but most tend to be dark. Some scholars argue that differences in skin color are related to the alleged Aryan origins of all high caste Hindus. Whatever the reason, and acknowledging claims to the contrary, Indians are not without color consciousness.
44Andre Beteille, "Race, Caste, and Ethnic Identity," International Social Science Journal, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, 1971, pp. 519-535.
45McKim Marriott, Caste Ranking and Community Structure in Five Regions of India and Pakistan, Ist edition, Poona: Deccan College Post-graduate and Research Institute, 1960.
46Beteille, loc. cit.
very different kinds of internal social conflict. This notion appears to be supported by Dahrendorf who argues that where bilateral social division exists, social conflict tends to be intense.47 On the other hand, among social orders exhibiting greater numbers of ranked units, conflict is less finely focused and tends to lessen.
For purposes of the present research, a caste order should be understood to occur when a society is composed of birth-ascribed hierarchially ordered and culturally distinct groups. The hierarchy entails differential evaluation, differential rewards, differential
association, and is guided by Vedic law.48
Groups comprising a caste order are differentiated, interactional, and interdependent elements of a greater society. They are often interdependent economically, and occupationally specialized. Ail persons living in such a social order belong to a caste, but to only one caste.49
Each level in a caste order hierarchy hosts people who view themselves as a discrete social entity. The size of such groups varies, but each has a name and exhibits intergroup interaction. Such groups are normally characterized by common symbols of group membership including language, occupation, dress, or place of residence. In social
47Ralf Dahrendorf, Class and Class Conflict in an Industrial Society, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1959.
48Vedic law derives from traditional interpretation of the most ancient sacred literature of Hinduism as presented in more than one hundred extant books. These works include exegesis, legend, ritual, and religio-philosophical speculation. Initial writing of this material is believed to have occurred between 1500 and 1000 B.C.
49Gerald Berreman, "Caste," in International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, op. cit., Vol. 2, p. 334.
functioning where group identification is important, individual attributes are irrelevant.50 However, in the assignment of individual status, both group membership and individual characteristics are involved.
In a caste society, status is linked with behavioral expectations applied to particular exogamous units such as lineages. Stevenson writes that status in caste orders is of a dichotomous nature, rating both individuals and groups in terms of "secular" and "ritual" status.51 According to Stevenson, secular status, although variable, may be deter52
mined by criteria such as occupation, education, wealth, and land-53
ownership. In contrast, ritual status determination accrues from behavioral patterns linked with mystical beliefs concerning Hindu
ideas of purity and pollution.54 The major purpose of this study is the identification of specific criteria used in assigning status in a caste society.
Summary of the Literature Reviewed
This chapter represents a survey of literature relevant to status in caste societies. The survey is limited to consideration of social. theories specifically relevant to the concepts of status and caste as they are interpreted and used in this study.
5H. N. C. Stevenson, "Status Evaluation in the Hindu Caste System," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1954, 84: 45-65.
52Occupation may influence both secular and ritual status.
53Stevenson, op. cit., p. 46.
It is advanced that status represents the most elemental unit of
a social structure.55 Status defines an individual's potential for social interaction and specifies his relative position in the social order.56 As such, it is a product of social organization, and is characterized by a variable nature. Acquisition of status is commonly unintentional, although conditions can be prompted which influence
status assignment. Such assignment is normally the result of achievement of special abilities and knowledges or, more often, through ascription based on birth, sex, age, and other relatively uncontrollable circum58
stances. It is also suggested that status assignment criteria are generally known to residents of small or moderately populated communities.59 Such knowledge is often less than specific, however, and is frequently acquired unknowingly.60 Once it has been applied in the act of establishing an individual's status, the meaning of such assignment can best be interpreted relative to the placement of all other persons. The fundamental unit of social analysis is the relationship between two or more statuses. It was further proposed that status is not only a component of social systems, but also the property of individuals. Such an understanding accounts for status functioning in systems other
than the specific one from which it emerges.61 Other literature is
5Dobriner, op. cit., p. 82.
56Turner, op. cit., p. 4.
57T. A. Marshall, loc. cit.
5Linton, op. cit., p. 115.
59Warner, op. cit., p. 68.
60Cox, op. cit., p. 294.
61Strodtbeck, James, and Hawkins,qp. cit., pp. 379-388.
cited which equates status with concepts such as honor, esteem, and respect.62 It is argued that when status is so valued, it is actively
sought,63 and its loss prevented whenever possible.64 When efforts to avoid loss of status fail, individuals and/or groups often demonstrate aggressive behavior toward others.65 Finally, it is reported that by separating status characteristics from the particular individuals who possess them, it is possible to examine specifically the properties of a status structure.66 The stability of such structures permits the formation of predictions of social events (supra, p.10).
The survey of literature next turns to analysis of the concept
"caste." Relevant citations assess caste systems to be more than rigid
systems of socio-cultural pluralism. It is recommended that stratification, pluralism, and interaction be considered in all analyses of caste. Although caste systems define the limits of status equal,and status-unequal interaction, pluralism is not diminished. It is proposed that unavoidable assignment to birth-ascribed, ranked, interdependent, and interacting groups is characteristic of all true caste orders. Because each caste group is distinctly unlike others, assignments can mean significant differences in life chances. The review also reports that some social theorists believe Negro-white relations
6Zelditch, op. cit., p. 253.
6Lipset and Zetterberg, loc. cit.
6Short and Strodtbeck, loc. cit.
65Greenblum and Pearlin, loc, cit.
66Zelditch, op. cit., p. 254.
67Berreman, op. cit.
in the "Old South" are an example of caste order.68 Several scholars are cited who refute this, claiming that what was observed is inappropriately labeled caste.69 Disparities among American and Indian social orders are identified, including the American emphasis upon physical appearance and behavior. It is argued that traditional caste order is "descent symbolized," while racist social orders rely upon physical and socio-economic differences.70 Social structural differences between the dichotomous American order, and a system of gradation as in India are also discussed.71 This debate prompts a definition of caste order suitable to the present study specifying that caste occurs when a society is composed of birth-ascribed, hierarchially ordered, and culturally distinct groups. The hierarchy entails differential evaluation, differential rewards, differential associations, and is guided by Vedic law (supra, p. 17 ). It was further indicated that groups in caste orders are differentiated, interactional and interdependent elements of the larger society. They are economically interdependent, and occupationally specialized.72 Persons comprising such groups generally view themselves as discrete social entities. Such a notion seems reasonable in view of the variable size and differing customs of caste groups. In addition, the status influence of caste groups often overshadows the
6Warner, op. cit., pp. 234-37.
69Simpson and Yinger, loc. cit.
70Davis, loc. cit.
71Beteille, op. cit., pp. 519-35.
72Berreman, International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, ap. cit., p. 334.
characteristics of individual members.73 In concluding the review, it is proposed that status in caste societies is linked with behavioral patterns associated with certain exogamous social units. Such casteorder status is believed to be catagorizable as "secular" and "ritual."74 Secular status is identifiable through examination of certain specific criteria.75 Ritual status is linked with Hindu ideas of pollution and purity.76
74Stevenson, op. cit., p. 45.
75Ibid, p. 46.
DEMOGRAPHIC DIMENSIONS OF THE STUDY
This chapter represents a demographic discussion of Nepal, the
country within which the study was done, and of the particular community studied. It is included to assist a reader not thoroughly familiar with the study area in understanding the study findings and their implications for education. Included are reports of the geography, economics, political history, and educational development of the relevant areas.
Discussion of the geography and economics of Nepal is.included as
descriptive of the nation which hosted the study, and as broadly reflective of other developing nations with social structures based on traditional Hindu caste models. Implications derived from the study findings may relate to other nations with similar characteristics. Description of Nepalese geography is followed by a summary of national political history. The summary is an attempt to highlight political developments which have affected the organization and social perception of education in Nepal: Subsequent discussion of education is intended to provide a basis for understanding the educational organization and its social significance in the specific community studied. To this end a final discussion presents relevant social, economic, and educational dimensions of the study community.
Nepal is a small, independent Hindu monarchy resting between India in the south and the Tibetan Region of the People's Republic of China in the north. Nepal's unique shape resembles an elongated rectangle extending nearly 500 miles from northwest to southeast with widths ranging from 80 to 130 miles (see Appendix A ). Within her borders are situated a vast collage of geological features among which are flat stretches of low lying plains and high mountains.
The low plains of Nepal occur in the southernmost extension of the country. They account for only a small segment of Nepal's total land area, but their produce represents a significant contribution to the nation's total agricultural output. Referred to as the "Terai," this area lies as a long but narrow northwest to southeast band south of the Siwalik Mountain Range. It is characterized by rich alluvial silt and sandy soils, and a subtropical climate. Rainfall patterns for the Terai are determined by the annual sub-continental monsoon, with quantities ranging from 1,000 millimeters to 2,237 millimeters annually.1
In contrast to the Terai, the mountainous or hilly region of Nepal includes several ranges all of which are dwarfed by the Great Himalayas farthest to the north. Among the more notable of the Himalayas of Nepal are Everest (Sagarmatha), the Annapurnas, and Manaslu all ranging beyond 26,000 vertical feet. Lying between the enormous Himalayas in the north and the Terai in the south is a vast region of medium-height hills (4,000-9,000 feet) interspersed with fertile valleys. This area
1Huta Ram Baidya, Farm Irrigation and Water Management, Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy, 1968, pp. 6-16.
represents most of Nepal's total land area, and likewise hosts a majority of her population. With few exceptions, the hilly region exhibits fertile clay and clay-loam soils in scattered valleys and semi-fertile, rocky-clay soils on the mountainsides where extensive terracing has been done. The climate is temperate and rainfall is abundant during the monsoon period. Average rainfall amounts for the hilly region vary from less than 1,000 millimeters to more than 2,000 millimeters annually.2
Resting between the Terai and hilly regions is a buffer area known as the Inner Terai. It is characterized by diverse geographical features ranging from gently rolling plains to steep mountains. Although sub-tropical, proximity to higher elevations yields lower annual temperatures than normally occur in the Terai. Annual rainfall averages fluctuate between 1,000 millimeters and 2,600 millimeters.3 Well drained loam and sandy loam soils are highly productive throughout the region, although the more mountainous areas are not suited for high levels of agricultural production.
Nepal is an agricultural nation. Nearly 92 percent of her economically active population was engaged in some form of agriculture or agri-business in 1974.4 Agriculture accounts for nearly 68 percent of Nepal's gross national product.5 Notwithstanding this massive emphasis
3Figures taken from data provided by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of His Majesty's Government of Nepal, 1976.
4The Europa Yearbook, 1975, A World Survey, London: Europa Publications Limited, Vol. II, 1975, p. 1105.
5Statistical Yearbook, 1975, New York: United Nation, 1976, p. 678.
upon agriculture, however, the level of agriculture development is essentially primitive. Some developmental progress has been made during the past quarter century, but such progress has been mostly limited to areas of reasonable accessibility. Further, much of the agricultural development work thus far undertaken in Nepal has proceeded from the extension activities of foreign agricultural-aid agencies. It is doubtful that the "Agricultural Extension Division of the Ministry of Agriculture--H.M.G." could adequately fund a significant on-going development program without extensive foreign financial and personnel assistance. The significance of this situation becomes obvious when one realizes that the major crops of rice, maize, wheat, and potatoes are produced by an agricultural system that is highly unsophisticated and sadly inefficient.
Industrialization in Nepal, with few exceptions, is limited to small cottage-type enterprises. Development is encouraged by His Majesty's Government, and assistance in establishing manufacturing units is encouraged by various foreign agencies. Nonetheless, such industrial development is progressing slowly, and in 1973 only 10 percent of the gross domestic product was derived from industrial activity.6
The depressed economic conditions of Nepal are reflected in the general lack of mobility within the country. Footpaths through rough mountain terrain serve as the only means of transportation in many areas of the country. North-south travel is facilitated by walking along narrow paths that parallel several rivers. However, the general absence
of bridges to span these rivers renders east-west travel difficult most of the time, and virtually impossible during the rainy season. As a result, many Nepalese find it more convenient to travel southward into India. There connections with buses and trains can be made. The travelers will then proceed east or west to a location at which they can again turn northward into Nepal.
Today, only one road connects Kathmandu, the capital city, with the Terai. Further west, another road passes southward from Pokhara. Additional roads have been constructed, connecting Kathmandu and Pokhara and.from east to west through the Terai. Extensive east-west road construction through Nepal's hilly region, however, remains economically prohibitive. Consequently, His Majesty's Government has designated several hill areas as sites for airport construction. By thus connecting selected outlying areas with the capital and other Nepalese cities, the government hopes to upgrade transportation facilities. It is hoped that planes carrying cargo as well as passengers will encourage economic growth. Several of the more important outlying hill areas are experiencing regularly scheduled flights by planes belonging to Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation. Nonetheless, ticket prices and cargo rates remain beyond the financial capabilities of most Nepalese.
The.estimated annual per capita income for a Nepalese in 1973 was approximately N. Rs. 840.00 (about $84.00 U.S.).7 Although not sufficient to afford purchase of more than the most essential foods, housing, clothing, etc., N. Rs. 840.00 is sufficient income for basic human survival.
71bid., p. 696.
Annual per capita incomes for persons living outside Kathmandu Valley were probably lower still. Aware of this situation, several foreignaid agencies are participating in the development of "cash crops"8 and various other alternatives which offer potential for increased cash income. The initiation of such programs may suggest that a general deficiency of spendable income has significantly discouraged economic progress. It may also reflect concerns for the present condition of the Nepalese economy and its heavy dependence upon foreign aid. Figures for income from foreign aid sources in 1974 amount to approximately 22 million U. S. dollars.9 The total Nepalese gross domestic product during 1974 represented only 130 million U. S. dollars.10
Reliable information concerning the earliest history of Nepal is nonexistent; however, some mention is made of Nepal in connection with the Hindu period known as "Kaligat," which began approximately 3,101 years before the Christian era.11
Tentative anthropological reports indicate that the central mountain region of present-day Nepal was occupied by numerous hunting and gathering tribes. Whether because of encroachment of more civilized societies into central Nepal, or because of conquest, sickness, or other
8Steven K. Million, Report to the Department of Horticulture--H.M.G. of Nepal, Viticulture, Kathmandu: Peace Corps/Nepal, 1972, pp. 69-72.
9The Europa Yearbook, 1975, A World Survey, op. cit, p. 1107.
O10Statistical Yearbook, 1975, op. cit., p. 696.
11Munshi S. S. Singh and Pandit Sri Gunanand, History of Nepal, Calcutta: Susil Gupta Private Ltd., 1958, p. 20.
factors, the descendants of these tribes have moved to sections of western Nepal, and reportedly continue to flourish as hunters and gatherers.12
Much of what is known of Nepal's subsequent ancient history has
been drawn from various religious writings and folklore. Of the earliest 13
written histories, the Buddhist Chronicles are the most-often cited.13 From these writings and from Nepalese folk history, it seems certain that an organized and flourishing community existed in Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal as early as the fifth century B. C. Although little is known of these ancient valley inhabitants, their major cultural influence was Indian and, therefore, probably influenced by the religious and social mores of Hinduism.
Daniel Wright suggests that a more contemporary history of Nepal is divisible into three distinct periods. The first of these periods he labels as the Sambat of Vikamaditya. Wright believes that this seg14
ment of Nepalese history began 57 years before the Christian era.14 The second period Wright refers to as the Sambat of Salibahana, and he suggests that it began approximately 78 years after the Christian era. The Sambat of Salibahana continued until October of 880 A.D., at which time Wright believes the current "Nepalese era" began.
12These anthropological statements are tentative and based primarily upon personal conversations with an American anthropologist, Joe Burkhart, who conducts research in Nepal. The author had contact with the anthropologist numerous times during his stay in Nepal, between 1970 and 1972. Although the author is aware of no written reports of the event, the anthropologist claims to have encountered and lived among the members of one hunting and gathering tribe for an extended period prior to 1970.
13Netra B. Thapa, A Short HIistory of Nepal, Kathmandu: 1967, p. 6.
14Singh and Gunanand, op. cit.
Although the exact date is unclear, a Chinese emissary reported
that Dharmakara was crowned as the first king of Nepal at approximately the time of Manju'sri's (in Chinese: "Wen Shu's") pilgrimage to Nepal.15 Records indicate that Manju'sri's journey probably occurred in the early
fifth century.16 Dharmahara is reputed to have established a cultural and economic order in Nepal similar to that of ancient China.17 The coronation of Dharmahara initiated a long and divergent line of Nepalese monarchs whose most contemporary royal descendant rules today.
The seventh century A.D. in Nepal hosted the Tibetan success in establishing a southern passage through the north-central region of the Himalayas. This passage was known as the Kerong Pass and has survived to the present. Salt and livestock were the primary southbound products, while a variety of manufactured goods flowed northward from India. The commerce generated by this Himalayan route established Nepal as a commercial waystation between Tibet and Northern India.
The Mongul invasion of India during the twelfth century A.D. sent many high caste Hindus into the hills of Nepal seeking refuge. Having established themselves in Nepal, many of the descendants of these high caste Hindus remained in the area. Their presence significantly altered the cultural and economic mores of the nation, resulting in establishment of a social system based on precepts of Hindu law.
The political history of Nepal likewise did not escape the great influence of Hinduism. In 1457 A.D., King Yaksha Malla ruled Nepal.
15Thapa, loc. cit.
16Samual Couling, The Encyclopedia Sinica, Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, Ltd., 1917, p. 326.
17Thapa, loc. cit.
At that time the country represented approximately 26,000 square miles of territory emanating in all directions from Kathmandu Valley.18 At the end of his reign, King Malla divided his kingdom into three smaller units and appointed three of his sons to govern them. The new kingdoms were named Bhatgaon, Kathmandu, and Patan. They retained their sovereign character until hostilities were initiated against them by the Shah family of Gorkha in present-day western Nepal. A devastatingly lengthy series of battles continued until in 1769 the last of the three kingdoms was annexed to the Gorkha empire.
For forty-five years the Shah family continued an ambitious campaign of expansion. At various times during this period they engaged the armies of China and Great Britain against whom their successes were, at best, limited. A final territorial treaty was ratified with the English on March 4, 1816.19 With the exception of a small parcel of land given to Nepal by the British in 1860, the modern boundaries of Nepal basically conform to those established in 1816.20 Culture
Culturally, Nepal is unusually diverse. This diversity, however, follows general geographical patterns and is, therefore, easily divisible into three basic cultural units. The first of these units is
18The territorial dimensions suggested above are based upon the author's computations of geographical information reported by Surya V. Gyavali in his work Prithvi Narayan Shah, Darjeeling, 1962.
19Satish Kumar, Rana Polity in Nepal, Bombay: Asian Publishing House, 1967, p. 13.
201bid., p. 14.
the Tibetan-Mongoloid groups of northern Nepal. This people has been heavily influenced by Tibetan language (Tibeto-Burmese), dress, and religion (Buddhist). Among the various tribes of the northern region of Nepal, the Sherpas of the Mount Everest area and the Thakhalies of north-central Nepal are the best known. As Nepal becomes a more mobile society, increasingly large numbers of these people are settling in the central and even the southern regions of the country.
The second and most populous group of Nepalese live in the hilly areas south of the Himalayas and north of the Gangetic plains. This people represents a blend of Mongoloid and Aryan physical traits and a unique combination of Indian and Tibetan cultures. From these unusual mixtures has sprung the racial, cultural, and linguistic characteristics most often identified with Nepal. Religiously, the central-region Nepalese are predominantly Hindu, but significant numbers of Buddhists exist among them. Very often, Nepalese will adhere to both Hindu and Buddhist faiths in seemingly compatible fashion. The Hindu and Buddhist faiths shape most of central Nepal's cultural mores. The Hindu caste system appears to provide the single largest contribution to cultural shaping. In fact, the impact of the caste system is felt in almost every aspect of Nepalese life.
Linguistically, the central Nepalese have helped to bridge much of the cultural diversity found in the nation. From west-central Nepal came a language originally known as "Khas." A form of this language has displaced Hindi as the official court language in Kathmandu.21 As feelings of nationalism began to emerge, Khas was
21Krishna R. Aryal, Education for the Development of Nepal, Patna, India: Shree Himalaya Press, 1970, p. 18.
renamed Nepali and was designated the official national language. It was the use of Khas (Nepali), however, by the Gorkha soldiers in the British Army that finally led to the first systematic effort to organize an English-Nepali dictionary, which was published in 1960.22 Today throughout central Nepal the use of Nepali is widespread as a first or second language. The "Ministry of Education--H.M.G." has determined that Nepali will be used as the language medium in most Nepalese schools. This fact, plus increased mobility and advancing technology in Nepal, is fast making Nepali an important language in both the northern and southern regions.
The southern region of Nepal, the Terai, is very unlike the central and northern areas. Topographically, the Terai is flat when compared with the hills and mountains to the north. Further, a vast majority of its inhabitants migrated from areas of India. These people brought with them strong faiths in Hinduism or Islam, and a plethora of languages. Of these languages, Bengali, Maithili, Bhojpur, Hindi, and Urdu predominate. The barriers presented by the influx of such diverse languageusage, and especially those presented by the sometimes conflicting doctrines of Hinduism and Islam, have caused significant unrest in some areas of the Terai. In addition, the caste system as generated by the Hindu faith is more rigid and, consequently, more debilitating for low caste Hindus in the Terai than in any other area in Nepal.
22M. Meerendonk, Basic Gurkhali Dictionary, Singapore: Sen Wah Press and Company, 1960.
History of Education
The educational history of Nepal is a collage of differing official views and policies, ranging from the sixth century to the present. The earliest appearances of formalized education can be identified during the sixth and seventh centuries and were mainly of an indigenous nature.23 Characterized by religious motivation, the early seats of learning in areas of northern Nepal were charged with the training of Buddhist monks. Such education was free, but not compulsory.24 Apparently, the curriculum in these earliest school was broad enough to include some form of mathematics, epistemological and metaphysical philosophy, and astrology.25 Thus, until the fourteenth century, education continued along these basic lines.
When in 1382 King Jayasthiti Malla assumed the Nepalese throne, a major commitment to education based upon Hindu religious law was established. King Jayasthiti, and the Malla kings who were to rule after him, placed great importance upon the socio-economic guidance provided by the Hindu codes, e.g., providing guidance related to social organization, social etiquette, restricted occupational choice. Each Malla king ruled by divine right, and believed such right to be founded in his allegiance to Hinduism.26 The effect of the new emphasis
23Report of the Nepal National Education Planning Commission, "Education in Nepal," Kathmandu: Bureau of Publication, College of Education, 1956, p. 25.
24Aryal, op. cit., p. 13.
250illi R. Regmi, Ancient Nepal, Calcutta: K. L. Mukhopadhaya, 1960, p. 177.
26Tulsi R. Vaidya, "Kingship during the Malla Period," Journal of Tribhuvan University, 4, 1, 1968, p. 19.
promulgated by the Malla kings was to promote Brahmanic institutions at the expense of the monasterical schools mentioned above. No efforts were made, however, to eliminate the monasteries of northern Nepal. In fact, the Malla rulers seem to have promoted a spirit of religious toleration, which in turn fostered continued growth of education throughout Nepal.
During the Malla period, education as well as the arts and literature28 flourished, although a relatively small percentage of the total population was directly involved.
The continuity of the educational upsurge under Malla kingship, however, was broken at the time King Yaksha Malla divided the kingdom into the three sections. His action, as described earlier, served as a catalyst for a long and bitter series of military and political conflicts. The effect of these conflicts upon the educational developments of Nepal is staggering. Eventually, even the coffers of the Nepalese monasteries and Hindu schools were depleted to pay for the incessant fighting. During this period, only the introduction of a few Christian missionaries signaled any significant educational advancement, and even
they were eventually expelled for alleged political indiscretions.29 Other than the cases cited above, few educational gains were made in Nepal before 1846, the time of the Rana accession to power.
27Report of the Nepal National Education Planning Commission, "Education in Nepal," op. cit., p. 18.
28Regmi, op. cit., p. 634.
29Aryal, op. cit., p. 19.
Satish Kumar writes that of all the phases of modern Nepalese
. . . the one from 1846 to 1951 is the most important
because of its two main characteristics: one, for one
hundred and five years. . ., a family of usurpers
(Ranas) ruled the country without having legitimate claim to power; and two, the rulers, in the process
of ruling selfishly and dictatorially, developed
anachronistic political institutions which not only
hampered the growth of the country in the relevant period but also had important repercussions on developments in post-Rana Nepal.30
Among the various "contributions" of the Rana prime ministers was a generally held high-level disdain for public education. Specifically, such
an attitude toward learning seems to have been generated by fear that
education might lead to political instability.31 Further, any vocational
need for education was discouraged by the aversion of the Ranas to
extending employment to educated men who might use such learning against
them.32 Predictably, those young men interested in governmental advancement placed little emphasis upon academic preparation, and instead concentrated upon establishing an agreeable relationship with the Rana family.
The Prime Minister and some rich families who could
afford it employed European or Bengali tutors to
teach English to their children. Other persons interested in education taught their children themselves
or employed family priests or pundits (scholars).
SThe lower classes had no facilities for education,
since there was no public provision for it.33
30Kumar, op. cit., p. 1.
31Perceval Landon, Nepal, London: London Constable and Company, Ltd., 1928, p. 179.
32Regmi, op. cit., pp. 14 and 26.
33Kumar, op. cit., p. 137.
In fact, Daniel Wright suggests that "the subject of schools and colleges in Nepal (at the time of the Ranas) may be treated as briefly as that of snakes in Ireland. There (were) none."34 This may, however, be somewhat too critical. In 1918 two actions taken by Chandra Shum Shere, a conservative Rana prime minister, established primary schools for Gorkha soldiers and a college in Kathmandu. The Gorkha schools encouraged the desire of the hill people for further education. Eventually, social unrest among the Gorkhas became a significant factor in the overthrow of the Rana regime. It should be noted, however, that Chandra Shum Shere's motivations in these reform activities were likely spurred more by a desire to maintain viable relations with the British in India than by any genuine concern for the general promotion of public education.
Hugh B. Wood adequately summarized the situation in stating that,
. . . the Rana period, . . . is best described as one
of general opposition to education by the ruling group.
In an era when western countries were developing and extending their systems of learning, the Ranas were
attempting to remove nearly all vestiges of education
in Nepal. Although they imported British or Indian
Pundits to teach their own children according to the
British system, they thoroughly opposed education for the masses. In fact, anyone advocating it risked the
death penalty or the dungeon.35
The beginning of the end of the Rana period was marked by the ascension to power of Padma Shumshere Rana in November, 1945. This man, more than any of his family predecessors, was genuinely concerned with public
34Daniel Wright, as seen in Singh and Gunanand, og. cit., p. 18.
35Wood, op. cit., p. 9.
education. To this end, he established a constitution which recognized, each Nepalese child's "right" to an education. He also organized schools, established teacher-training programs, and printed textbooks. His reforms were short-lived, however, and on February 9, 1948, dissident members of the Rana family forced his resignation.36 His successor was Mohan Shumshere Rana, who abolished Padma's educational reforms and systematically limited most civil liberties. This reactionary administration was to serve as the initial catalyst for a popular revolt that in early 1951 ended the Rana rule.
With elimination of the Ranas and reestablishment of the Shah dynasty, King Tribhuvan quickly enacted measures designed to create puplic education. Many schools were opened immediately, and often little consideration was given to adequate planning, financing, or facilities.37 The general character of the schools, curricula, and procedures which emerged were similar to those in India.38
His Majesty's Government, in an effort to maintain some order in
the development of Nepalese education, instituted several organizational steps which were based upon Indian models. These included formation of a Ministry of Education, strengthening of the educational directorate, and appointing seven "school inspectors.39 Following establishment of a Board of Education, the National Education Planning Commission (1954-55) was created to chart long-range educational objectives.
36Thapa, op. cit., p. 136.
37Wood, op. cit., p. 11.
38Horace B. Reed and Mary J. Reed, Nepal in Transition, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968, p. 9.
39Wood, loc. cit.
Aid from the United States helped to expand primary education.40 Simultaneously, teacher-training programs were established, adultliteracy classes were initiated, and textbooks were printed. As these primary- and secondary-level educational developments continued, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu and several smaller colleges in outlying areas were established with foreign assistance. Consequently, educational development made significant headway in Nepal over a surprisingly short period of time. Much of this progress was reported in 1962 in a comprehensive educational survey sponsored and administered by UNESCO.41 Subsequent development of educational programs and facilities in Nepal indicates sincere commitment by his Majesty's Government to the concept of public education. When considered in the broader context of Nepalese political and social history, such commitment may exemplify the postrevolutionary spirit of Nepal.
Prior to the 1951 Revolution, there was little need for administrative educational personnel in Nepal. Although the Office of Director of Education was created in 1858, it represented no real authority or responsibility.42 Until 1951, the position of Director of Education was awarded to a series of Rana army generals who commonly viewed the job with indifference. During the post-revolutionary period, efforts have been made to increase the effectiveness of educational administration
40E. B. Mihaly, Foreign Aid and Politics in Nepal, London: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp. 28-41.
41Wood, Hugh B.and Bruno Knall, Educational Planning in Nepal and Its Economic Implications, UNESCO, (mimeograph), Paris: UNESCO, 1962.
42Wood, op. cit., p. 12.
and supervision. However, inadequate experience and training, as well as the rapid expansion of education in Nepal, have significantly hindered such efforts. Nonetheless, in 1951 an organizational plan for educational administration and supervision was established. Subsequent studies haveon indicated a need for specific changes in and additions to the original plan, as illustrated in Figure 3.1.
Among the organizational reforms of 1951 was creation of a Ministry of Education.43 Official procedure provides for "political" appointment of a minister who "serves at the pleasure of the king."44 As late as 1976, however, education had not attained sufficient importance to merit a full-time minister. Instead the ministers have traditionally held other appointments simultaneously. Deputy ministers have normally been appointed to handle most of the Ministry of Education's affairs.
The responsibilities of the ministry extend to all matters of education in Nepal. These responsibilities include coordination of specialized educational activities (e.g., higher education, health education), establishment of national educational policy, and direction of educational development. Each of these functions is coordinated by the Secretary of Education who, unlike the Minister of Education, is exclusively concerned with educational matters.
The-secretary, like the Minister of Education, is appointed by the king. However, because he is not linked directly to the Minister, some continuity is maintained when either office is vacated. The Secretary is served by several under-secretaries whose responsibilities are limited
43Randhir Subba, T. N. Uraity, and H. B. Wood, "Report on the Ministry of Education," Education Quarterly, Vol. 2, 1965, pp. 123-132,.
44Wood, op. cit., p. 12.
S oMinister of Education University
Secretary of-Education 1
L Educational Planning Directorate Auxiliary
Research & Statistics i Agencies
Curriculum Educational . .i Primary
Supervision Materiais j Administration Scnools
14 Zonal Inspectors: 14 Zonal Decuty Inspectors,
75 Block Sub-InsDectors (Generai)
1 Block Sub-Inspectors (Specialists)
S- - - - - - - eCollees
Schools E I ducation
Committees "' Local Headirmasters
ORGANIZATION OF ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION. 0F EDUCATION.IN NEPAL
(with Recommended Modifications)
Note.--Solid lines inicate lines of autnority; broen lines in:~ica te coordinating and advisory relationships.
(a) Chanie reco,, rended by tne
Un7-e L - i 19 - 2.
(b) Addition recoC::en:c by the
UESCO tea:n in 1962.
(c) Higner education is acacemically
autoromnus but largely dCeoendelnt
upon the Ministry for financial
Source: Wood and Knall, op. cit., as seen in Wood, op. cit., p. 15.
to specific educational areas (e.g., primary, secondary, and higher education). In the past, overlapping of responsibilities between the Secretariat and the Ministry has resulted in duplication of efforts. In 1958, such duplication resulted in creation of two distinct national education programs. More recently, however, the influence of the Director of Public Instruction has helped stem duplication of matters relating to primary and secondary education.
The Directorate is the contemporary version of the earlier Office of Director of Education, established in 1858. It is the coordinating center for all primary- and secondary-school activities on a national scale.45 It administers the organization of new schools, the distribution of school funds, the preparation and distribution of learning materials, adult education, and most of the other aspects of educational administration not delegated to the Ministry or to the Secretariat. The Director of Public Instruction is represented at the public school level by numerous inspectors. They, in accordance with the responsibilities of the Directorate, exercise significant administrative influence in matters concerning local schools. They are responsible for opening or closing schools, approval or disapproval of grants, and hiring and dismissing headmasters and teachers.46 During the past decade, their role has become increasingly supervisory. They are now actively involved in efforts directed toward improvement of instruction and administration at the local level. The inspector serves as the primary link between the local school and the Ministry.
45Wood, op. cit., p. 14.
Ibid., p. 16.
Reliable figures for total numbers of schools and students in Nepal are difficult to locate. This is due in part to limited communication and transportation capabilities, and to discrepancies among definitions of what actually constitutes a "school" or who is a "'student." Nonetheless, studies done in 1973 report a total primary school enrollment of
392,229 students,47 more than twenty percent fewer than earlier projected.48 Numerically, the Nepalese are far from achieving the Government's stated intention of expanding tuition-free, primary education to 49
all students by 1985.49 Graphical representation of Nepal's proposed educational enrollment is presented in Appendix B. Fundamentally, the proposal calls for primary education for all who desire it (although not compulsory), secondary education for about 20 percent of the total elementary enrollment, higher education for approximately 5 percent of secondary enrollment, and adult education for all who seek it.
A study of the number of students progressing from one grade level to the next-higher level was reported in 1959.50 The study indicated that only 38.1 percent of the total primary-age population had begun formal schooling at Grade I. The report also indicated that only 2.4 percent of the total population remained in school to Grade X. A flow
4Statistical Yearbook, 1975, op. cit., p. 857.
48Wood and Knall, op. cit., p. 32.
49Ministry of Education, The Five-Year Plan for Education in Nepal, Kathmandu: Bureau of Pulications, College of Education, 1957.
50Trailokya N. Upraity, "Historical Background of Educational
Development in Nepal," Financing Elementary Education in Nepal, Eugene, Oregon: The American-Nepal Education Foundation, 1962.
chart in Appendix C demonstrates the percentage differentials between the various grade levels, and the standard "student flow" from Grade I through Grade X. Reference to the flow chart will indicate not only the relative percentages of student enrollment to school-age population by grade-level, but also a diagrammatical representation of the student flow process. That is, it displays the prescribed procedures of student passage from one level to the next, as well as repetition of the same level, and termination of the schooling process. Comparison of the relevant percentage of school-age population at any one level with that of other levels, provides a reader the opportunity of more clearly grasping the significance of student attrition rates, especially following Grade III. Other important information is presented with regard to the School Leaving Certificate examination, normally administered following completion of Grade X. Reference to the flow chart indicates that only 35 percent of all students examined succeeded in satisfying the test demands. This may raise questions of the content of the S.L.C. examination, and of the quality of the secondary-level education which preceded it.
Secondary education in Nepal is far less extensive than is primary education. Figures reported in 1975 indicate that 217,524 pupils were enrolled.in secondary-level general education programs in 1973.51 The majority of Nepal's secondary schools are located in Kathmandu and several other areas with high concentrations of population. However, the Three-Year Plan (1963-65) proposed the creation of at least one secondary school in each of Nepal's 75 development districts (see Appendix A).
51Statistical Yearbook, 1975, p. cit.
Statistical Yearbook, 1975, _o. cit.
Secondary school curriculum is dictated by the School Leaving Certificate Board, and is oriented toward preparation for the S.L.C. Examination. Wood was written,
teaching methods are confined largely to lecturing
and rote recitation, often en masse. There is a
single objective: to past the final School Leaving Certificate (S.L.C.) examination at the end of the
The limited value of Nepalese rote learning, as well as its likely product
has received no small share of negative criticism.
Like secondary education, higher education is limited in its capability of meeting the needs of Nepal. Although there were 33 recognized colleges and universities in Nepal by 1961, enrollment fig54
ures indicated several student bodies with fewer than 500 students.54 Nonetheless, an abundance of graduates with degrees in economics, political science, and history led to employment difficulties as early as 1962. At the same time, the College of Education (Tribhuvan University) could not fill its available student places. This situation is probably due to the low pay and limited prestige afforded teachers in Nepal. The UNESCO report in 1962 recommended a quota system to correct this imbalance of degree awards.55
The-quality of higher education in Nepal is in large measure a reflection of secondary education. That is to say, teaching consists
52Wood, op. cit., p. 43.
53Steven K. Million, Rote Learning in Nepalese Public Schools, Unpublished master's thesis, University of Kansas, 1975.
54Wood and Knall, op. cit., p. 46.
primarily of lecture, and incentive for study appears to be limited to the final weeks prior to examinations. Teaching aids and textbooks
are scarce,56 and library facilities--when available--are seldom utilized. The UNESCO report considered these problems and issued numerous recommendations for improvement.
The educational, social, and political conditions of Nepal are
reflected in the particular community selected for study in the present research. Although all communities exhibit some degree of uniqueness,. the study site was purposefully selected as generally representative of the broadï¿½r nation.
The Study Site
Selection of a representative sample population was critical to the present research. Criteria used in making the final selection are reported in Chapter IV. At this juncture, however, it is appropriate to mention several demographic characteristics of the area within which the sample population resided.
The community selected, a "punchayat" or county known as Jotpur,57 is situated in the area earlier identified as the Inner Terai. It lies at the extreme northern extension of the Gangetic Plain. Topographically, Jotpur's area of nearly twenty-five square miles exhibits a wide variety of features ranging from nearly flat plains to steep mountains.
56Wood, op. cit., p. 54.
57nJotpur" is a pseudonym. It is customary that intimate studies of communities not report the actual name or precise location of the study area. This is done to protect the anonymity of those participating in the study. Such anonymity permits study participants to speak more freely about their own social condition and that of others living around them.
Although most of Jotpur's soil is fertile and highly productive, large tracts have been washed away by the Nilo Khola River during past monsoon seasons. In addition, little mountain land is suitable for cultivation because of extreme gradients and inadequate moisture. Where practical, extensive terracing has been done. Such areas produce maize, buckwheat, and some dry land rice. Other crops grown in the flat, fertile soils of Jotpur Punchayat include rice, wheat, maize, and mustard. To supplement their diet, most residents also plant vegetable gardens.
The history of Jotpur is elusive. This is due in part to absence of a record-keeping tradition, and in part to community disinterest. What little oral history is available recounts the area's settlement by hill and Terai people approximately 150 years ago, a fact verified by official records. Originally a dense jungle, trees were cut away and fields cultivated. Populational growth was at first sluggish, but increased steadily after malaria eradication programs were begun. The total population of Jotpur today is approximately 7,000 persons.
The economy of the Punchayat is dependent upon agriculture and agri-business. Only a few general supply stores and tea shops are not directly related to agriculture. Two rice mills operate with a combined'annual income of approximately N.Rs. 95,000 (U.S. $9,500.00).58 The mills employ seven workers whose average monthly earnings seldom
58Annual income figures are based on information supplied by the
ownership of one mill and substantiated by the chief governmental officer of Jotpur Punchayat. The mills operate during most of the year milling rice, wheat, maize, and mustard.
exceed N.Rs. 200 (U.S. $20.00). Virtually all other personal income in the Punchayat is derived from private farms or farm labor.59
Many areas of the Inner Terai are characterized by dissimilar religions, castes, and racial backgrounds. Jotpur is one such area, hosting Hindus, Buddhists, and Moslems from both hills and Terai. Buddhists with Mongolian physical features live side-by-side with descendants of Indian Hindus. The result of such mixing is a miniature composite of Nepal. That is, most major religions and cultural groups of Nepal are represented in similar proportions in Jotpur Punchayat. As in thebroader nation, Hindus predominate social and religious life, with Buddhists only slightly less influential, and Moslems relatively powerless. Occasionally Hindus or Buddhists will adopt religious practices previously associated with the faithful of the other religion. Such behavior may enhance the prospect for continued peaceful coexistence of such diverse groups. However, similar sharing of religious customs with Moslems is unknown in Jotpur.
Culturally, Jotpur residents are as diverse as their several religions and numerous castes. Hindus tend to adhere to traditions similar to those of Hindus in India. They participate in the same religious festivals, emphasize physical and spiritual purity, and support maintenance.of caste order. Among Hindu groups, several large castes and subcastes exercise powerful influence over the whole of Jotpur. Not the least of these are Brahmins representing spiritual authority, and Newars who are often successful business persons.
59Several persons are employed by the Jotpur Malaria Eradication Program, but the work is seasonal and the pay is subsistence.
Buddhists are culturally similar to Tibetans and other South Asian mountain groups. Their Tibetan heritage is reflected in dress, social and religious customs, and physical appearance. Likewise, Moslems pattern the traditional dress, personal grooming, and social styles of other South Asian Islamic people. Jotpur's combination of these diverse cultures yields a cultural collage rich in variety and reflective of the broader nation.
Provisions for education in Jotpur are products of the organization and purpose of agencies in His Majesty's Government of Nepal. There 60
are seven National Primary Schools with a total enrollment of 469.60 These primary schools offer instruction to Grades I, II, and III. In addition, the Punchayat hosts one secondary school which serves seventy-eight students, and provides instruction through Grade VII. Because provision has not been made for further education, those students who wish and are qualified to study beyond Grade VII must assume temporary residence in Dhalpur, a town located approximately two and a half hours' walk from Jotpur. Seven of the eleven students enrolled in Grade VII last year passed their examination and elected to continue their education in Dhalpur.
Jotpur's eight schools are directed by fourteen teachers and a headmaster. The schools are widely dispersed, but are normally placed in or near a town. Expenses for operation of Jotpur's schools are borne by His Majesty's Government of Nepal. Operational expense for Shree Chandra Secondary School is met by local government and student tuition,
60AIl local educational figures are based on records maintained by the Jotpur Punchayat headmaster with offices in Shree Chandra Secondary School, and reflect data current at year's end, 1976.
with the former assuming roughly 75 percent of total costs. Classrooms and teaching aids are inadequate, although several maps and a globe are available in the secondary school. The average student-toteacher ratio approximates 36 to 1, although in some cases a 50 to 1 ratio may be encountered.
Four teachers have completed an Intermediate Arts degree61 at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. All other members of the staff have some secondary level education, several having received the School Leaving Certificate. Their salaries, although low, are scaled to reward further study. Teachers in Jotpur holding the Intermediate Arts degree earn N.Rs. 292.50 (U.S. $30.00) monthly. Those with only the School Leaving Certificate receive a monthly income of N.Rs. 201.50 (U.S. $20.00).62
In summary, Jotpur Punchayat is very much a reflection of Nepal. Its geography is characterized by flat plains and high mountains, features of the broader nation. Its economy is heavily dependent upon agriculture. The population of Hindus, Buddhists, and Moslems from hill and Terai backgrounds is similar to the host nation. Educational organization is likewise a reflection of national educational programs. These similarities were purposefully sought, and it is hoped that through study of a community like Jotpur, greater understanding of Nepal will result.
61An Intermediate Arts degree is roughly equivalent to an Associate of Arts degree in the United States.
62Salary figures for teachers who had not earned the School Leaving Certificate were unavailable.
Development of the method used to reveal status factors in this
study was based on several previous models. The most important of these models was developed by W. Lloyd Warner and associates and used in his studies of American social classes.1 The method, entitled "Evaluated Participation," was founded on the proposition,
that those who interact in the social system of a
community evaluate the participation of those
around them, that the place where an individual participates is evaluated, and that the members
of the community are explicitly or implicitly
aware of the ranking and translate their evaluations of such social participation into socialclass ratings that can be communicated to the
Collection of the information prerequisite to determination of status ranking was accomplished through a series of interviews. An analysis of the content of these interviews served as the determinate of status rank and subsequent construction of a representational social status configuration. Application of the adopted interview procedure did not impose status rankings or preconceived notions of social configuration which might have affected study results. Instead, the procedure allowed
W. Lloyd Warner, Marcia Meeker, Kenneth Eells, Social Class in America, Chicago: Science Research Associates, Inc., 1949.
21bid., p. 35.
for systematic compilation and analysis of interviewee input. The analyst then translated the accumulated data to explicit, verifiable criteria of status rank and developed a social status configuration representative of the study community.
Deviations from Previously Developed Models
The present research examined social status in a setting very unlike the American communities previously studied. For this reason no assumptions were made regarding the criteria of status determination or of the-conceptual design of the relevant social configuration. The study allowed status rankings and concomitant structural features to assume whatever condition and shape was reported by those interviewed. No effort was made to fit the society studied into a previously created stratificational scheme. It was recognized that data might indicate continuous, normally distributed categories exhibiting no definitive demarcations among strata.3 It was also allowed that data might demonstrate multi-dimensional stratification as in a single society ranking its membership within an economic order, prestigal or honorific order, and a power structure.4 Of equal importance was a willingness to acknowledge that the Warnerian theory of status determination might prove inappropriate to Asian caste societies. These basic theoretical variations were accompanied by three important deviations from previously used procedures.
3Stanley Hetzler, "An Investigation of the Distinctiveness of Social Classes," American Sociological Review, 18, October, 1950, pp. 493-497.
4Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber, An Intellectual Portrait, Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., pp. 85-87.
Other studies of status determination have indicated little concern for threats to external validity, especially as related to generalizability.5 This is most obvious in studies similar to that done by Wayne Wheeler within which interviewees and judges are selected on the basis of their interest in the research, their previous association with the researcher, etc.6 To minimize such threats to the present research, all participants (exclusive of the research staff) were chosen by random selection without replacement. The findings of this study are believed to be generalizable to the entire study community and to other communities similar to the one examined. Pre- and post-studies were conducted and appear to confirm this claim to generalizability. The pre-test was conducted in the same community as the actual study, and indicated agreement with the later findings. The post-tests were administered in three different communities approximately 100 miles from the actual study site. Not unlike the pre-test, they indicated high degrees of concurrence among the status figures designated. Concern for external validity was accompanied by similar interest in threats to internal validity.
Use of an interview technique renders threats to internal validity especially perilous. This is because variations in the content of interviews or- in presentation of interview material can prompt artificial responses. As a precautionary measure, all randomly selected subjects
5Harold W. Pfautz and Otis Dudley Duncan, "A Critical Evaluation of Warner's Work in Community Stratification," American Sociological Review, 15:205-215, 1950.
6Wayne Wheeler, Social Class in a Plains Community, Minneapolis: Wayne Wheeler, 1949, p. 34.
were contacted and interviewed by the same research personnel. The, questions asked and the manner in which they were presented were as consistent as it was possible to make them.
A procedure unique to this study was the use of photo-number cards. These were five inch x eight inch, unlined, white cards with a Polaroid color photograph of each subject mounted left of center. To the right of each photograph appeared an arabic numeral which corresponded to the, serial number of the subject featured in the photo. The proper name of the person in the photograph did not appear on the card. This design was adopted to allow the literate and illiterate a similar opportunity for identification of the photo subjects. This procedure is based on the assumption that presentation of a subject's name on the card would provide literate persons with an unequal advantage in recognizing the individual pictured. Such an advantage was considered undesirable because only those subjects recognizable to the judge were eligible for ranking.
It was important to select an appropriate study population. The
process of selecting such a population began in June, 1976, simultaneous with development of the total research program. At that time Nepal was chosen as the general study area owing to its traditional association with the caste system, its predominately Hindu population, and its unusually limited exposure to non-caste cultures. The study site.was to be a rural area outside Kathmandu Valley in order to minimize the effects of exposure to dissimilar cultures. Few rural areas are visited by tourists or other persons foreign to the area. Ideally, the site
would be generally representative of Nepal, and provide a relatively uninhibited example of caste social order. The population of the study community was to range between 4,000 and 7,000 persons. A larger population would likely have been too massive for thorough examination. It was important that the community reflect the caste membership proportions, language patterns, religions, and general lifestyles of the broader nation. This was deemed necessary to increase the potential generalizability of the study. To this end was solicited the assistance of persons familiar with Nepalese demography.
Through the cooperation of several officers of His Majesty's
Government of Nepal, and Nepalese and American employees of the United States of America and the United Nation's Development Program (U.N.D.P.), more specific criteria for site selection were designated. These persons met individually with the author on five separate occasions, and offered suggestions for locating a study site compatible with the specifications mentioned above. In addition, they recommended that the site selected should be (1) located in an Inner Terai area, (2) situated away from major roads or other avoidable sources of external cultural contamination, and (3) inhabited long enough for community residents to know one another well. The specification of an Inner Terai location was based on the belief that residents in that area represent virtually all cultural, religious, and economic groups characteristic of Nepal. Such mixing is seldom found outside large urban areas. The third specification was intended to avoid selection of a newly settled community which might have been so culturally diverse that identification of community status factors would be impossible. A "punchayat" consistent
with these specifications was identified in October, 1976, and is referred to by the pseudonym of Jotpur.
Once the author and a research assistant were established in the study community, they conducted interviews with one or more persons from each of Jotpur's nine wards. In order that the interviews would . be representative of social, political, commercial, occupational, edu-. on cational, and other community segments, they were selected both at random and on the recommendation of the chief governmental officer. They were requested to provide names of persons they believed representative of all status levels in their ward. Collectively they identified forty-one individuals. They were also asked to characterize each status stratum as they perceived it, and to differentiate it from all others. Other questions included the influence of caste on status and the status of women. The entire interview is presented in Appendix D.
A preliminary survey of the interviews indicated that persons
living in Wards 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9 were generally unknown to residents of wards other than their own. This is believed due to restrictive geographical features including the mountains of Wards 1 and 2, the dense jungle of Ward 9, and the great distance from Jotpur's central bazaar of Wards 7 and 8. It was decided, therefore, to restrict the scope of this study to the contiguous Wards 3, 4, 5, and 6 within which persons were generally well-known to residents to the other three wards.
From the four-ward area, twenty-five (25) preliminary judges were selected at random from the group of forty-one names identified in.the initial interviews. They were interviewed and asked to respond to, questions about their individual perceptions of status in the study .
community, and to several objective queries concerning their ages, occupation, sex, and caste. Reference to Appendix E will provide a reader with the content of this interview in both English and Nepali. The preliminary judges named 118 individuals whom they believed representative of a cross-section of status levels in the study area. From this group were later selected those persons whose interviews represent the crux of the present research.
Initially, it was planned that an equal number of subjects from each category would be chosen from each -ward. However, because some wards indicated higher concentrations of persons in one or another of the status categories identified by the preliminary judges, it was decided to place all 118 persons together and select eighty-four (84) names at random. The figure eighty-four was based on an ideal selection of equal numbers of subjects from each of the four wards. In the actual selection, eighy-four names were selected at random without replacement. Among those selected, ten were persons selected more than one time as a result of being listed under more than one name. The seventy-four names remaining were those of subjects who were designated to be photographed and interviewed.
Interviews with the seventy-four subjects selected above consisted of forty-two questions designed to gather objective information about each subject's caste, occupation, religion, land holdings, etc. The entire interview, in both English and Nepali, is presented in Appendix F. At the conclusion of each interview the author assigned a "+" or "o" to each interviewee as an indication of his acceptability for inclusion among the final judges. Virtually all subjects were included, although
some exclusions were made as the result of interviewee inaccessibility, i.e., interviewee worked out-of-town, was too ill for additionalinterviewing.
The photographing of each subject involved a waist-up, partial
side view. Care was exercised to make each photo similar to all others, although some variety of backgrounds and variations of the prescribed pose were employed. A Polaroid Colorpack camera with Type 108 color film was used for all subjects.
Among the seventy-four individuals designated for inclusion in
this phase of the study, eleven were unavailable. The reason for this ranged from serious illness to relocation outside Jotpur Punchayat. In addition to the eleven, three other subjects were found to have been listed more than once under different names. With these exceptions, sixty subjects were interviewed and photographed.
The random selection of twenty-five final judges was the next procedural matter. The selection was followed by a second random selection without replacement of four alternate final judges. The alternates would be used only if one or more of the original final judges was unable to participate. The order of selection determined the order of substitution for the alternates. That is, the first alternate selected would be the first substituted. Having established the format for the final judging, it was possible to proceed to the last stage of the field component of this study.
Each of the twenty-five final judges was contacted personally,
and privately. They were seated at a desk and given a series of instructions concerning what was about to occur and what was expected of 'them
(See Appendix G). They were then presented with fifty-nine randomlyarranged photo-number cards,7 and instructed to sort them according to those they recognized and those not recognized.8 Each judge was asked to reexamine all unrecognized photo-number cards carefully until he was certain he had identified all those known to him. This complete, it was possible to begin the actual ranking.
The final judges were presented with all the photographs of persons they recognized, and were requested to arrange them in order from highest status level to lowest status level. When this function had been completed, they were asked to explain the rationale for their individual placements and for the stratificational design they had identified. They were also asked if there were other status groups in Jotpur not represented by persons featured in the photographs. Ail judges agreed that all status groups were represented, and none could suggest individuals or groups which were not represented.9 A systematic procedure for recording each judge's placements was used, and combined with his oral explanations of placements and strata, provided the data on which this study is based.
7The judges' own photo-number card was withheld until all other functions of this segment were satisfied. Each judge was then asked to place himself relative to all previous placements.
8When a judge "recognized" a photographee but admitted knowing nothing about him, that particular photo-number card was excluded.
9All interviews with final judges were tape-recorded and later transcribed and translated by native speakers of Nepali (the language used for interviewing) and English (the language to which translation was made).
Determination of the Number of Status Strata and Individual Average Placement Ratios (A.P.R.)
The method used to determine the number and appropriate parameters of status strata in the study community was unique to this research and, therefore, should be explained. Development of the method was guided by a desire to minimize purely subjective determinations of the data's meaning. To this end, efforts were made to balance the influence of qualitative and quantitative data in designating a status configuration representative of the study community.
During the interview segment of the study, judges identified seven different status configurations within which the number of strata ranged from a minimum of three to a maximum of ten. The mean number of strata identified by all judges was 5.32 with a standard deviation of 1.54. Among all judges, ten identified a five-strata configuration, more than any single alternative. It was decided, therefore, to adopt a five-strata configuration as most representative of the reported status stratification in the study community. Each subject would then be fitted to the prescribed configuration on the basis of his Average Placement Ratio (A.P.R.).
Computation of the A.P.R. began by creating a fraction-like value. The denominator of this value represented the total number of strata identified by the rating judge, while the numerator reflected the actual stratum within which a particular subject had been placed. For example, a value of 1/4 would indicate that a judge had identified a total of four strata, and that he had placed a particular subject in the first, or highest, of these. Ail such values for each subject were converted to corresponding decimal values, summed, and divided by the
total number of judges who had ranked that particular subject. The resulting value was subtracted from 1.0, yielding an A.P.R. score for each subject indicative of the relative highness or lowness of all placements. It was then necessary to devise a means of fitting the A.P.R. scores to the five-strata hierarchy.
Examination of the ten original five-strata configurations permitted calculation of an Average Percentage of Placements per Stratum, (A.P.P.S.). The A.P.P.S. reflected the frequency and relative percentage of subject placements in each stratum. By ranking all A.P.R. scores from lowest to highest value, it was possible to divide the total distribution of scores into five units based on the A.P.P.S. with adjustments for natural numerical breaks. The A.P.P.S. values and the resulting division of the A.P.R. scores into five units are presented in Tables 4.1 and 4.2, respectively.
PERCENTAGE OF PLACEMENTS PER STRATUM FOR THE TEN
JUDGES DESIGNATING A FIVE-STRATA CONFIGURATION
Number of Placements per Stratum
Percentage of Total Placements Within Five Strata
SI 1 6 4 10 4 2 12 4 2
.052 .127 .181 .285 .25 .04 .428 .083 .044 .165
SII 4 12 4 6 5 6 4 6 5
.21 .255 .181 .171 .31 .12 .142 .125 .111 .180
SII 8 12 4 7 5 8 3 9 34
.421 .255 .181 .200 .31 .16 .107 .187 .755 .286
SIV 5 12 5 8 1 32 1 27 2
.263 .255 .227 .228 .062 .64 .035 .562 .044 .257
SV 1 5 5 4 1 2 8 2 2
.052 .106 .227 .114 .062 .04 .285 .041 .044 .144
DIVISION OF A.P.R. SCORES INTO FIVE UNITS
BASED ON THE AVERAGE PERCENTAGE OF
PLACEMENTS PER STRATUM
A.P.R. Scores Occurring Within the Relevant Division
SI .165 .610 .628 .747
.616 .649 .753 .616 .651 .779 .623 .661
SIlI .180 .437 .511 .562
.443 .518 .592 .481 .525 .482 .534
SIII .286 .330 .348 .352 .404 .425
.336 .348 .385 .405 .336 .350 .388 .415 .345 .352 .392 .423
SIV .257 .115 .244 .278 .299
.117 .249 .292 .325 .125 .263 .297 .196 .276 .298
SV .144 .000 .066
.043 .086 .047 .105 .066
FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
Usefulness of the Method
It was hypothesized that a methodology capable of identifying factors of status in a caste community could be developed. This hypothesis appears to have been substantiated through comparisons of interview data which indicate high levels of subject agreement. That is, although each subject was interviewed in private, the factors reported as related to status were generally in agreement with those proposed by all other interviewees. In fact, it would seem that residents of the study community had formed very clear ideas about factors related to status. The features mentioned most often included landownership, other financial resources, knowledge of improved farming practices, general education, and community service. These factors were advanced by virtually all interviewees. Because efforts were made not to prompt responses, such unanimity is compelling evidence that these factors are actually those used to determine status in the study community. It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that the instrument has demonstrated a capability for identification of status factors as they are perceived by the residents of Jotpur.
Characteristics of the Sample Population
The sample population consisted of sixty randomly selected male residents of Jotpur, Nepal with an overall average age of forty-one. Collectively,
the sample represented all suspected social, economic, caste, religious, and educational groups in the study community. A breakdown of the sample by caste indicates that each of the four major Hindu castes and a significant number of Buddhists were represented.
TABLE 5.1 BREAKDOWN OF THE SAMPLE BY CASTE MEMBERSHIP
Caste Number of Subjects (N=60) Relative Percentage
Brahmin 18 .330
Chetrie 16 .266
Vaisya 13 .216
Sudra 2 .033
Buddhist il .183
Among the sample subjects, land ownership ranged from possession of no land to ownership of 780 "katthas."1 A mean land ownership of 187.4 "katthas" with a standard deviation of 176.6 "katthas" and a range of 780.0 characterized the sample. In addition, the mean number of months of formal educational training was 42.8 months with a standard deviation of 87.7.2 The range of total education extended from no education to 600 months. Within the homes of the sample population there resided a mean of 3.3 school age persons3 with a range of 10.0 and a standard deviation of 2.2. From this school-age group a mean of 1.5 persons attended school, with a range of 6.0 and standard deviation of 1.5.
IA "kattha" is a local unit of land measure which is approximately equal to 1/80 of an acre.
2Formal educational training refers to organized learning activities in either a secular or religious school. A school year is defined as ten months of formal educational training.
3School-age persons are all individuals residing in the home who are from six to twenty years of age.
As described in Chapter IV, a five-strata configuration has been adopted as reasonably representative of all reports of status stratification in the community studied. The parameters of each stratum are defined in terms of A.P.R. scores established for each member of the sample population, and the A.P.P.S. values obtained from averaging the ten original five-strata configurations. Table 5.2 presents the fivestrata configuration and defines the numerical parameters of each stratum and its relative A.P.P.S.
TABLE 5.2 STATUS CONFIGURATION AND RELATIVE NUMERICAL PARAMETERS
Strata (by A.P.R. scores) A.P.P.S.
SI (highest) .610 through .799 .165
SII .437 through .609 .180
SIII .330 through .436 .286
SIV .115 through .329 .257
SV (lowest) .000 through .114 .114
By constructing chi square contingency tables with one side representing the five-strata defined above, it was possible to measure the degree of relationship between status and other qualitative variables by comparing obtained frequencies with those expected under a hypothesis of independence. To further clarify the meaning of the chi square analyses, scatter diagrams are presented. These diagrams feature two variables, and yield correlation coefficients indicative of the degree to which variation in one variable is related to variation in the other. Having established correlation for a number of pairs of variables, it was possible to compare the strength of relationship between one bivariate analysis and any other r.
similarly computed. Determinations of bivariate correlation coefficients were expanded to consideration of the linear relationships between all independent variables and the A.P.R. by means of multiple regression analysis.
The principle task of the multiple regression analysis was production of a linear combination of several independent variables which would correlate as highly as possible with the A.P.R. The computed linear combination can be used to predict values of the dependent variable, and the importance of each independent variable to such a prediction.4
Traditional wisdom would seem to suggest that status is a function
of caste membership. To test this hypothesis a chi-square contingency table and scatter diagram are presented in Table 5.3 and Figure 5.1. Examination of the chi square and scatter diagram analyses reveal several interesting findings. First, based on a raw chi square value of 33.56 with 16 degrees of freedom, caste as a factor of status assignment is not significant
4The usefulness of multiple regression and path analysis in understanding qualitative data has provoked serious controversy, especially evident since 1972. Those who object to such analyses contend that use of multiple regression in establishing the independent contribution of an independent variable fails because the alleged independent variable is not free of the influence of other variables. Further, the regression approach can lead to overestimation of the importance of a given variable when that variable is entered into the regression equation first. Because all independent variables examined are correlated, the shared portion of the explained variance which could be accounted for by any variable is attributed to the variable first entered. The statistical intricacies of the debate are beyond the scope of this study, but the reader is advised to consider their potential influence on the findings reported here.
5Arthur M. Hocart, Caste, A Comparative Study, London: Methuen and Company, Ltd., 1950, pp. 35-42.
6Condiscriptive statistical information for this and all variables is presented in Appendix H.
COUNT ROW PCT COL PCT TOT PCT
CHI SQUARE CONTINGENCY TABLE FOR THE VARIABLES A.P.R. AND CASTE CASTE
SI 4 5 2 0 0 Il
36.4 45.5 18.2 0.0 0.0
22.2 31.3 15.4 0.0 0.0
6.7 8.3 3.3 0.0 0.0 18.3
SII 5 2 0 0 2 4
55.6 22.2 0.0 0.0 22.2
27.8 12.5 0.0 0.0 18.2
8.3 3.3 0.0 0.0 3.3 15.0
SIII 4 5 4 0 5 18
22.2 27.8 22.2 0.0 27.8
22.2 31.3 30.8 0.0 45.5
6.7 8.3 6.7 0.0 8.3 30.0
SIV 4 2 3 2 4 15
26.7 13.3 20.0 13.3 26.7
22.2 12.5 23.1 100.0 36.4
6.7 3.3 5.0 3.0 6.7 25.0
SV 1 2 4 0 0 7
14.3 28.6 57.1 0.0 0.0
5.6 12.5 30.8 0.0 0.0
1.7 3.3 6.7 0.0 0.0 11.7
COLUMN 18 16 13 2 11 60
TOTAL 30.0 26.7 21.-7 3.3 18.3 100.0
Raw Cht Square = 22.56075; df = 16; Significance = 0.1260 Kendall's Tau B = 0.19546; Significance = 0.0334 Somer's D (Asymmetric) = 0.19809 with A.P.R. Dependent
779.00 623.20 545.30
467.40 389.50 311.60 233.70 155.80 77.90
Brahmins Chetries Vaisyas Sudras Buddhists
2 2 2
* * *
1.00 1.40 1.80 2.20 2.60 3.00 3.40 3.80 4.20 4.60 5.00
Correlation (R) = -0.26739; R Squared = 0.07140; Significance = 0.01944
SCATTER DIAGRAM OF THE VARIABLES A.P.R. x CASTE (N=60)
at the .05 level. Although inconsistent with the thinking of some
social theorists, this finding does conform to the current interview
data. During the interviews subjects indicated that they did not hold
caste to be an important determinate of individual status. It may be
that these findings are a reflection of recent changes in the social
ideas of Jotpur residents. However, the implication that caste has
never been significantly related to individual status must be recognized.
Secondly, the contingency table indicates nearly equal distributions of
Brahmins, Chetries, and Vaisyas among all strata. Sudras were ranked
in the foï¿½rth stratum (SIV), indicating a tendency toward lower ranking. Buddhists were generally clustered around the central stratum
(SIII). A major importance of the findings rests with the absence of
a more definite tendency of castes to attain consistantly high or low
placements. Chetries comprise forty-five percent of all subjects assigned
to SI, more than Brahmins. Similarly, they predominate SIII. Brahmins,
7Critics of this study may argue that cells in chi square tables with fewer than five cases should have been combined with other cells until a minimum of five cases occurred .in every cell. The author acknowledges the potential for misinterpretation of data when empty cells occur, but believes that the collapsing of cells may also pose threats to interpretation. For example, Table 5.3 displays the chi square analysis.of caste and A.P.R., and regrettably contains seven (28%) empty cells. By combining the five columns into three columns, all empty cells could be eliminated. However, in so combining (or collapsing) the five columns, their distinctiveness is forfeited. That is, instead of reporting that of all those placed in SIV, four were Brahmins, two were Chetries, three were Vaisyas, two were Sudras, and four were Buddhists, a reader would only know that among the four castes and the Buddhists, fifteen were placed in SIV. Likewise, it seems important to know that no Vaisyas or Sudras occurred in SII. This information would likely be lost if the columns were collapsed. Therefore, the reader is cautioned to evaluate the chi square contingency tables in light of the potential threat presented by empty cells or cells with fewer than five cases.
on the other hand, represented 70 percent of SII assignees, but only fifteen percent of SV. Certainly there is a tendency for Brahmins to be assigned high status, but the fact that they occur at all in SV, that they did not dominate SI, and that they were equally represented with Buddhists in SIV, may be surprising to those who closely associate caste membership with individual status. These findings are confirmed by the multiple regression analysis presented in Table 5.4. Reference to that table will indicate that, although the variable caste has a multiple R, value of 0.74691, another variable (land) accounts for all but 0.01095 of the relevant multiple R value.8 The relative insignificance of caste to A.P.R. becomes even more obvious when its zero-order correlation is compared to that of land. The difference between the two values is more than twice as great as the zero-order correlation for caste. These findings, however, should not be interpreted to mean that caste is unrelated to status assignment. In fact, its zero-order correlation and F value (as reported in Tables 5.4 and 5.5), are greater than those of all reported variables other than land. Therefore, analysis of this data permits the cautious suggestion that, although historically associated with individual status, caste membership is not significantly predictive of A.P.R. at the .05 level.
The second alleged factor of status determination is education. Certainly the history of education in Nepal has influenced education's role in status assignment as discussed in Chapter III. The sample population, with an average age of forty-one, was fifteen years of age in
8This finding is the result of subtracting the multiple R value of the first variable from that of the second. The resulting value represents that portion of the second variable not attributable to the influence of the first as related to a dependent variable (in this case A.P.R.).
THE MAGNITUDE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF FOUR VARIABLES
RELATED TO STATUS ASSIGNMENT IN JOTPUR
Variable the Equation
Beta (Beta)2 Correlation
Multiple With Variable
R Partialed Out
0.73596 none 67.35738*
0.74691 land 35.32973
0.79047 land, caste 30.53539
0.79052 land, caste, religion 22.49185
.516544 .264453 .215193 .000076
0.26474 0.08300 0.19150
0.54163 0.07008 0.00688 0.03667
VARIABLES IN THE MULTIPLE REGRESSION EQUATION FOR JOTPUR DATA
Standard Error of B
Caste Religion Education (Constant)
.516544 .264453 .215193
0.09393 20.32555 36.73552 0.18941
1951 when Nepalese public education was introduced. This may account for the large number of uneducated subjects. Notwithstanding the deemphasis of education prior to 1951, it is hypothesized that chi square and scatter diagram analysis will indicate a significant relationship between education and status. The appropriate contingency table and scatter diagram are presented in Table 5.6 and Figure 5.2. It appears that education as a factor of status is significant at the .05 level. This finding would seem to suggest that with increased amounts of education up to one hundred months, Jotpur residents are less likely to be assigned low status. Educational training beyond this level may be counter-productive as related to status assignment.9 Reference to the contingency table will demonstrate that of four subjects with seventy-one or more months of schooling, three were placed in SI. In contrast, nearly half of the sample had thirty or fewer months of education, yet only one subject among them was assigned to SI. It should also be noted that the distribution of individuals with thirty-one to seventy months of education was nearly normal for all strata.10 This normal districution contrasts sharply to the skewed distributions of the two alternative educational categories (see Table 5.6). Equally interesting is the finding that fewer than 2 percent of the total sample with at least some secondary education were placed in SV. This finding is balanced by other figures indicating that fewer than 2
9This statement is based on the finding that one subject with more than seventy-one months of schooling was placed in SIV as a result of community opinion suggesting that he had failed to use his education to earn money or acquire land (see Table 5.6).
10Formal education should be understood to include organized learning activities in secular or religious studies. A school year represents ten
months of formal education.
CHI SQUARE CONTINGENCY TABLE FOR THE VARIABLES A.P.R. AND EDUCATION
ROW PCT COL PCT TOT PCT
EDUCATION (in months)
SI 1 3 3 7
14.3 42.9 42.9
3.4 18.8 75.0
2.0 6.1 6.1 14.3
SII 3 2 0 5
60.0 40.0 0.0
10.3 12.5 0.0
6.1 4.1 0.0 10.2
SIII 10 7 0 17
58.8 41.2 0.0
34.5 43.8 0.0
20.4 14.3 0.0 34.7
SIV 9 3 1 13
69.2 23.1 7.7
31.0 18.8 25.0
18.4 6.1 2.0 26.5
SV 6 I 0 7
85.7 14.3 0.0
20.7 6.3 0.0
12.2 2.0 0.0 14.3
COLUMN 29 16 4 49
TOTAL 59.2 32.7 8.2 100.0
Raw Chi Square = 17.90408; df = 8; Significance = 0.0220 Kendall's Tau C = 0.33236; Significance = 0.0031 Somer's D (Asymmetric) = -0.41304 with A.P.R. Dependent
545.30 467.40 389.50
0.0 60.0 120.0 180.0 240.0 300.0 360.0 420.0 480.0 540.0 Correlation (R) = 0.20058; R Squared = 0.04023; Significance = 0.06219
SCATTER DIAGRAM OF THE VARIABLES A.P.R. x EDUCATION (N=60)
* * *
* * *
* * *
percent of the total sample with no secondary education were placed in SI. It seems that accomplishment of approximately seventy months of formal education is a reasonably reliable guarantee of high status assignment. As suggested above, however, education may be characterized by a point of diminishing returns. It is not possible to designate the exact level at which returns begin demission, but such may occur between 100 and 160 months. This estimate is based on interview data which suggest that persons with high school and/or college training are expected to use what they have learned to obtain other status commodities, e.g., land, money, or high-salaried employment. A person failing to acquire such status commodities is subject to low status assignment in spite of his level of educational training.
The multiple regression analysis may appear to refute the chi square report of significance for education. For example, the multiple R value . for education increases only 0.00005 over the cumulative multiple R value of 0.79047 for land, caste, and religion. Further, the zero-order correlation for education is only 0.19150, far smaller than the value reported for land. Yet reference to the correlation coefficients among variables presented in Table 5.7 indicates a positive relationship betweed education and land greater than that of caste or religion. The reasons for the apparent discrepancies are not clear. It may be that the chi square value is a statement of the statistical significance of the relatedness of education and A.P.R., while the multiple regression value is a report of education's practical usefulness as a discriptor of A.P.R. It may also be that one of more variables are serving to supress the potential influence of education. Whatever the cause, it appears that education is related, albeit minimally, to A.P.R.
SUMMARY OF CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
AMONG ALL VARIABLES EXAMINED
0.16949 0.82819 1.00000 0.09341
Caste Religion Education
Ownership of land is another factor potentially related to status. Nepal's history is filled with examples of individuals and families attaining great power and influence as a result of large land holdings or the acquisition of other forms of wealth. Perhaps the Rana family and their exploits as reported in Chapter III is the best example of this phenomenon. The analyses clearly substantiate the relationship of landownership to status assignment. Inspection of the relevant contingency table (Table 5.8) and scatter diagram (Figure 3.2) indicate that the two individuals owning 625 or more "khattas" of land were both placed in the highest stratum, SI. At the opposite extreme, only one of thirty-three subjects with 156 or fewer "khattas" of land was placed in SI. Multiple regression analysis as reported in Table 5.5 bolsters these findings. Having a zero-order correlation of 0.73596, land is vastly more significant than any other variable examined. In fact, its significance may suggest that with little exception, Jotpur residents equate the amount of land owned with status. Careful examination of the data, however, provide exceptions adequate to discourage the advancement of this idea as a social value. A possible reason for the significant relationship of landownership to status may be the importance of agriculture to the local economy. The importance of owning land could decrease in an economic setting less dependent upon agriculture, and within which other occupations might be pursued. The findings' greatest significance, therefore, may be in what it suggests about occupations in general. That is, if status is closely related to occupation, and occupations in caste societies are usually linked to caste membership, it may be that social observers who have argued that status was
ROW PCT COL PCT TOT PCT
CHI SQUARE CONTINGENCY TABLE FOR THE VARIABLES A.P.R. AND LAND LAND (in "khattas")
SI 1 5 2 1 2 11
9.1 45.5 18.2 9.1 18.2
3.0 27.8 40.0 50.0 100.0
1.7 8.3 3.3 1.7 3.3 18.3
SII 2 5 1 1 0 9
22.2 55.6 11.1 11.1 0.0
6.1 27.8 20.0 50.0 0.0
3.3 8.3 1.7 1.7 0.0 15.0
SIII 10 6 2 0 0 18
55.6 33.3 11.1 0.0 0.0
30.3 33.3 40.0 0.0 0.0
16.7 10.0 3.3 0.0 0.0 30.0
SIV 13 2 0 0 0 15
86.7 13.3 0.0 0.0 0.0
39.4 11.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
21.7 3.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 25.0
SV 7 0 0 0 0 7
100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
21.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
11.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 11.7
COLUMN 33 18 5 2 2 60
TOTAL 55.0 30.0 8.3 3.3 3.3 100.0
Raw Chi Square = 34.0103; df = 16; Significance = 0.0054 Kendall's Tau B =.0.58065; Significance = 0.00001 Sommer's D (Asymmetric) = -0.66202 with A.P.R. Dependent
623.20 545.30 467.40
389.50 311.60 233.70 155.80
0.0 78.0 156.0 234.0 312.0 390.0 468.0 546.0 524.0 702.0 780.0
Correlation (R):= 0.74152; R Squared =0.54985; Significance =0.00001
* * * FIGURE 5.3
CATER D.IAGRA OFTHE VARIABLESA.PR. ~~*LAND (N=60)
* ** *
* * 2 *
,** * * *
* * * *
0.0 78.0 156.0 234.0 312.0 390.0 468.0 546.0 524.0 702.0 780.0
Correlation (R) = 0.74152; R Squared = 0.54985; Significance = 0.00001
FIGURE 5.3 SUSCATTER DIAGRAM OF:THE VARIABLES A.P. R. xeLAND (N=60)
a product of caste have misunderstood what they observed. This idea is especially important to those occupations like farming which accommodate several castes. It could mean, for example, that occupation is one of the "great equalizers" in caste societies.
Religion is also advanced as a potentially significant factor in
status assignment. This idea is based on the potential religious determination of behavior for Jotpur's predominately Ilindu population, and on Nepal's official opposition to religious proselytization. The relevant analyses are presented in Table 5.9 and Figure 5.4.
In view of the previously reported findings concerning caste, a reader should hardly be surprised to discover that religion is not a significant factor of status. The zero-order correlation for religion was only 0.08300, lower than that for all other variables examined. The multiple R increment with the variables land and caste partialed out, amounted to only 0.04356 (see Table 5.4). It seems reasonable to conclude that religion is not significantly related to A.P.R.
Other Important Findings
Although the major findings are discussed above, two additional
discoveries are worthy of report. The first has to do with the status of women in Jotpur.
When first proposed, this study intended to include females in the sample population. Their inclusion seemed reasonable because Nepalese women are often quite active in business enterprises, and often exercise great influence in family financial matters. Hlowever, pre-test interviews in Jotpur and post-test studies elsewhere indicated that women were not perceived as possessing status apart from their fathers
ROW PCT COL PCT TOT PCT
CHI SQUARE CONTINGENCY TABLE FOR THE VARIABLES A.P.R. AND RELIGION RELIGION
SI 11 0 0 I
100.0 0.0 0.0
22.9 0.0 0.0
18.3 0.0 0.0 18.3
SII 7 2 0 9
77.8 22.2 0.0
14.6 18.2 0.0
11.7 3.3 0.0 15.0
SIII 13 5 0 18
72.2 27.8 0.0
27.1 45.5 0.0
21.7 8.3 0.0 30.0
SIV 11 4 0 15
73.3 26.7 0.0
22.9 36.4 0.0
18.3 6.7 0.0 25.0
SV 6 0 1 7
85.7 0.0 14.3
12.5 0.0 100.0
10.0 0.0 1.7 11.7
COLUMN 48 il 1 60
TOTAL 80.0 18.3 1.7 100.0
Raw Chi Square = 13.19318; df = 8; Significance = 0.1054 Kendall's Tau C = 0.10000; Significance = 0.1277 Somer's D (Asymmetric) = 0.20442 with A.P.R. Dependent
701.10 623.23 545.30 467.40 389.50
233.70 155.80 77.90 0.0
SCATTER DIAGRAM OF
THE VARIABLES A.P.R. x RELIGION (N=60)
1.00 1.20 1.40 1.60 1.80 2.00 2.20 2.40 2.60 2.80 3.00
Correlation (R) = -0.18406; R Squared = 0.03388; Significance = 0.07960
or husbands. Absence of unique status was normally attributed to the lack of education among women, or to a disinterest in matters external to the home. In fact, only one interviewee, a woman, believed that women had status. Yet even she was unable to name a female living in Jotpur who possessed such status. It seems reasonably certain that Jotpur residents assign status to females reflective of the males with whom they are associated.
It should be noted that Jotpur males seemed little interested in altering the situation mentioned above. Many of those who justified the absence of status assignment to women because they lacked education, refused to allow their own daughters to attend school. Others volunteered that they would not consider marrying an educated woman, but could not specify a particular reason. It was the perception of the researcher that males were generally threatened by the prospect of females receiving education.
A second finding is related to the status of children. As with women, pre- and post-test interviews suggested that children did not have status, as that concept is understood in Jotpur. The interviewees, among whom were children, unanimously agreed that children are assigned status only as a reflection of the status of their parents. When they are grown, girls assume status commensurate with that of males with whom they are associated. Boys, on the other hand, attained individual status at some stage in their early life. Interviewees suggested that the exact age of status assignment was not clearly established, but likely occurred sometime between the ages of twelve and thirty. The average of all ages proposed by the interviewees was 18.63 years.
Implications of the Findings for Education
As indicated above, education appears somewhat related to status assignment in Jotpur. The implications of such findings suggest that persons interested in improving their status have some chance of doing so by furthering their education. There is in operation, however, a point of diminishing returns. This is most clear in the case of one sample subject who, although in the highest educational group, was assigned to SIV status. Review of the interview data indicates that most judges believed the subject had spent too much time in academic pursuits and too little time using what he should have learned to earn a living. Apparently the residents of Jotpur believe education has little intrinsic value, and disjoined from financial success is insufficient to merit high status. Education is perceived of instead as a means of acquiring competencies which may lead to personal and community betterment.
Other study implications are related to government. The foremost among these is the failure of local government to fully develop manpower resources. This is nowhere more obvious than in the failure to educate local females. Not only does this failure result in wastage of great human potential, but it also threatens community health and well-being. Jotpur women are responsible for most homemaking chores, including the preparation of food and maintainence of family hygiene. In the absence of basic knowledge of human disease, the lives of family members may be jeopardized. Courses in science which include basic instruction in hygiene are provided in Jotpur's secondary school, but such information seldom reaches persons not in attendance. This situation is further complicated in Jotpur where no local medical facilities are available.
Data gathered during the present study indicate that the 60 subjects who served as the sample population had fathered 408 children. Tragically, 138 children, nearly 34 percent, had died. Perhaps improvements in hygienic standards brought about in part by the education of greater numbers of women could reduce this unusually high mortality rate.
A third implication of the findings is the need for expanded primary and secondary education. The statistical analyses presented aboveforecast little hope for status attainment among the uneducated. Further, secondary'education is probably valuable enough to warrant its provision beyond grade seven in Jotpur Punchayat. Students forced to move away from home for study beyond seventh grade normally represent a significant financial burden for their families. Poorer families simply can not afford such additional education, the absence of which may serve to perpetuate their poverty. If secondary education is to expand, it might benefit from adoption of a vocational orientation. This idea is based on what is believed to be a community-wide perception of education as a means to personal success. A vocational orientation would likely satisfy both community and student needs, especially if such is presented in concert with less technical material.
Perhaps the most important implication to come from this study is the potential it implies for escape from the debilitating influences of caste. Although Brahmins are very likely to acquire high status, Sudras and other castes now have evidence that they, too, can attain. such rankings. The study findings suggest that (1) community residents do not judge their neighbors on the basis of caste alone, and that (2)
the actual influence of caste in determining individual status is dwarfed by the greater influence of landownership and to a lesser degree by education. This study seems to confirm the possibility of low-caste persons acquiring status equal to or greater than that of Brahmins.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
The study reported here is divisible into three parts. The first of these was the development and testing of a methodology capable of identifying status factors in a caste community. The second segment, closely related to the first, was the actual identification of status factors in a caste community using the new method. The final phase involved an analysis of data generated by the entire study.
The method used was based on previously developed models (supra, p. 51). The basic premises underlying its development posit that status factors are present in all social orders, and that they can be identified through interviews with community residents. The developed method was modified to accomodate a Nepali-speaking, mostly illiterate population residing in a traditional caste culture. Tests seem to confirm the method's capability.
Jotpur Punchayat, a small, political subdivision in the Inner Terai area of Nepal, was the site of the study. The site was chosen as broadly reflective of the nation (supra, p. 54). The sample population was composed of sixty men, randomly selected, representing all suspected social, economic, religious, educational, and caste groups in the study area. They were photographed and interviewed (supra, p. 58). From the sample were selected, at random, twenty-five men who served as status judges.
These judges subjectively ranked all recognized members of the sample population by status. They created a status hierarchy which they believed represented status ranks in Jotpur, and were questioned about the rationale for'their decision. The analysis of this data served as the basis for conclusions later proposed.
The initial phase of data analysis required the formation of
hypotheses. They were based on traditional knowledge of caste societies and on ideas generated by the interviews. They predicted that data analysis would establish significant relationships between status and the variables of caste, education, landownership, and religion. To confirm or reject these hypotheses, it was first necessary to calculate an Average Placement Ratio (A.P.R.) score for each member of the sample population. The A.P.R. represented a subject's average placement by all judges ranking him, divided by the number of such judges. Secondly, a five-strata hierarchy was adopted as reflective of status stratification in Jotpur. Adoption of the configuration was based on the specification of a mean of 5.3 strata by all judges, and the more frequent choice of five-strata configurations among all judges. The A.P.R. scores were then fitted to this five-strata configuration in accordance with the Average Percentage of Placements per Stratum (A.P.P.S.). The A.P.P.S. represented the average percentage of placements in each stratum by those judges originally adopting a five-strata configuration. The parameters of each stratum were defined by the appropriate A.P.R. scores (supra, p. 66). Statistical analyses compatible with qualitative data were selected.
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