What is Dominant Caste: Factors and Functions

What is Dominant Caste? In a society where stratification is present at a vast level, there is some certain pattern in which each caste is at some greater position. Dominant means holding superiority in a group by any means.

M.N Srinivas has been one of the researchers in the field of dominant caste in any group. He defined it as a particular caste economically, spiritually, and politically above any other castes. For example in India, the Brahmin caste is considered as a dominant caste, thus it is having a superior frame over other castes.

dominant caste functions and factors

Since 1987 Srinivas’s definition of dominant caste was of greater impact over societies. Firstly it was believed that the Dominant caste system exists only in one village namely Okkalinga but Srinivas cleared the air and stated that this stratification regarding dominant castes is found nearly in every place.


  1. ECONOMIC STRENGTH: The Economic condition of a person played an important role in deciding its Dominance. Suppose a person is not dominant by its ascribed status, but through its economic condition, a person is seen as a dominant figure in society.
  1. POLITICAL POWER: Political power is getting the power to rule over a clan thus making it’s a dominant thing in the society sometimes irrespective of their caste. For example, India’s prime minister is a dominant figure in India irrespective of his caste.
  1. RITUAL PURITY: In India, it is a saying that the Brahmin caste is equivalent to God, thus they are ritually the most powerful caste.
  1. NUMERICAL STRENGTH: A specific group of people high in number than any other group or caste will be considered as dominant.


  1. Dominant caste’s habits, norms, behavior are seen as the only thing to copy by lower caste inhabitants. This is also seen as transferring the habits of the dominant caste to lower castes. These castes are seen as role models for lower castes.
  2. They safeguard the cultural and social phenomenon of society. Hence they act as a watchman of the cultural development of society. And if anybody is found guilty of breaking the rules is severely punished.
  3. They are dominant in society thus they play an important role in expanding their relationship with political parties. They play an important role in the political process of a country.
  4. Due to their dominance in society, they are the pillars of the socio-economic development of the society. It is not necessary that their steps are always for the betterment of society; sometimes they use their power for only their greed. For example, the trailing corruption is an example that not every time they were fair in every aspect.


Adrian C Mayer was the first scholar to oppose the Dominant caste asking what positive impact this dominant caste is having on society. It imparts the power to only a few individuals in the society making it a cliché and unimpressive process for the decision-making process.

Share on:

I am Prerna Jha, pursuing mechanical engineering from KIIT, Odisha, But I Love to Read and Write Sociology Related Concepts and Theories. I have done schooling from MVM School, Bilaspur. I have interest in writing love stories or any specific genre. I pursue a great interest in quilting. Right now I am an aspiring writer who writes for various pages. I have participated in many social events. I am a social animal who likes to have maximum participation in any fest.