Unlike some foreign cultures (India) there is not a formal social class structure in the United States. However, there are certainly distinctions made in some communities according to demographics such as: education, wealth, race, religion, and gender.
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A formal class structure, such as that of the caste system in India, is rigidly defined and firmly established into society. The example you provided mentioned India's social structure, which is the caste system. The caste system is very rigid because it is very immobile (meaning that it's incredibly difficult to move up to a new caste). The caste system, unlike the social structure of the United States, is firmly established by cultural attitudes. The caste system, along with many other formal social structures, are held strongly in place due to the culture of its members. Most of India's population is Hindu, which abides by the Caste system (which was set in place after Aryan migrations and emphasized the importance of blood purity). This social structure is so well established because of the Hindu principle of Dharma, which stated that if a person follows the duties of their caste, they can move up to a higher caste in the next life. In conclusion, formal class structures are firmly established through cultural beliefs, and often offer little opportunity for mobility (for example, you can't even choose your own occupation). The United States, however, offers much more freedom of choice by allowing people to be socially mobile through education and different career choices.
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Sep 9th, 2015
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