Caste System and Relative Deprivation in Nepal

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: Booth 42
Oral Presentation
Yasuto NAKANO , Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan
This study clarifies (1) how caste system causes individual relative deprivations in contemporary Nepalese society, (2) how these deprivations effec on subjective well-being and dissatisfaction. Caste system is one of the strongest social stratification systems which affect on status, occupations and other social atributions of individuals within that society. Officially caste system has been destruted in Nepal, it still remains influential in their daily lives nevertheless. Relative deprivation which reflects gaps between individual status and his reference group's status is more prominent in society with caste system, because caste group which one individual belongs to is always obvious. Ongoing democratization and globalization is throwing the caste system into confusion; some higher caste group is missing their advantageous positions, some lower caste group is uprising economicaly. We could define relative deprivation between (1)caste groups  and between (2)time(past-present-future). We conducted a questionnaire survey in Kirtipur which contains old Newar community and newly ethno-mixture community in Nepal. Respondents were asked to evaluate their own status in Cantril's ladder(0-10). Furthermore, they were asked status of their own group and other(higher and lower) groups. Status is not only that of present but also that of past, future and ideal. From these evaluations we could define several types of relative deprivations. There are different tendency of deprivations between caste groups. It is confirmed that relative deprivations effect on subjective well-being and dissatisfaction. Individual relative deprivation, which comparing individual past-present-future-ideal, has no effect on satisfactions but caste relative deprivation, which comparing caste group, has effet.