Difference Between Caste & Race

What is Race?

Race is a method of identifying an individual’s group identity within a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural nation. It is biologically inherited, making it an ascribed status. Factors such as biological factors, cultural factors, language, skin color, religion, and social relationships are considered when determining a person’s race. However, an individual cannot change their race. Some scientists argue that race is not a biological construct, while others believe that people can be distinguished based on their physical traits. In some societies, race has become a tool of discrimination. Social scientists use race as a primary variable in studying social inequality and stratification. Some societies have formed ideologies based on race, believing that their race is the most superior and viewing others as lower. Nevertheless, race is present in all societies, and we all belong to a particular race.

What is Caste?

Caste is a form of social stratification, primarily seen in South Asian regions. Like race, caste is an ascribed status, but unlike race, it can be changed if a person decides to change it according to their own will. Caste is inherited from one generation to another, passing from parents to their children. However, caste is not a physical or biological characteristic; a person’s caste cannot be determined by their outward appearance. The caste system originated in ancient times as a way of differentiating people’s jobs or professions, with specific jobs or tasks assigned to each caste. Kings and ruling parties were considered members of higher castes, while lower caste people were given jobs such as pottery work and weaving. Lower caste people were often considered “untouchables,” with limited social mobility in ancient times. A person’s caste could often be revealed by referring to their name, as in many Asian countries, people have various surnames depending on their caste. In modern times, caste is not a barrier to social mobility and is often overlooked in many societies.

Key Takeaways

  • Race is a way of differentiating people based on physical characteristics, while caste is a form of social stratification not based on physical features but inherited by birth.
  • Race is a biological feature that can be determined by looking at outside appearance, whereas caste cannot be determined by outward appearance.
  • Race is an unchangeable physical trait, while caste can be changed if a person wishes to do so.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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