ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Social Structure, Ideology and Language-Caste among Muslims

Caste among Muslims Pervaiz Nazir The question whether the concept of caste can be applied to the system of social stratification of a community professing a faith other than Hinduism has often been posed in the abstract, ascribing an 'essence' to caste, as well as according a determinative role to religious ideology independent of the. context in which it is articulated. This paper is an attempt to address this question through a linguistic analysis of some of the categories used in the context of caste, and argues that though caste existed among Muslims in traditional rural Punjab, caste labels became increasingly important only to the extent that the individual was able to acquire an identity independent of the clan or lineage to which she or he belonged.

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