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Emergence of social class in caste oriented Punjabi rural community: a trend analysis

Ayesha Farooq (Department of Sociology, Government College University, Lahore, Pakistan)
Ashraf K. Kayani (Department of Sociology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 22 February 2013




The purpose of this study is to focus on changes in stratification structures in a rural community of the Punjab, Pakistan. The village was previously studied by Eglar suggesting strong caste structure. Keeping her study as a base, the authors attempt to measure structural changes that have occurred from the 1960s through 2008.


Data were drawn from a probability sample survey which was conducted in the village. Systematic sampling technique was used for selection of the respondents. An interview schedule was developed to obtain information from persons, age 55+ years. The older age group was expected to have observed changes over the period of time.


The findings are based on trend and regression analyses. Source of income is an indicator of shift from caste to class structure. The results show that stratification structure of the village has changed since 1960. Changes in traditional stratification structure emerged in the 1970s and became prominent in the 1990s and onwards. These changes occurred mainly due to economic factors, international migration and education. It is found that the class system has partially replaced the caste based stratification in the village.

Social implications

Public policies can be designed to promote or resist the changes that have occurred due to the identified causal factors.


The present study is expected to throw light on factors which gave rise to the emergence of the class system in rural areas of Pakistan.



Farooq, A. and Kayani, A.K. (2013), "Emergence of social class in caste oriented Punjabi rural community: a trend analysis", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 33 No. 1/2, pp. 33-44.



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