Sanskritization : Meaning, Characteristics, Modes, Examples & Overview

As our society has been almost ruled by Dominant castes, it overlooked lower caste people. Thus a term and practice also emerged as a result of Purity and Pollution concept i.e. Sanskritization. This phenomenon was first observed by M.N. Srinivas who profoundly found that people of low caste were intimidating other castes rituals in their daily life routine. It was called firstly as Brahminization as they were peculiarly following this caste beliefs and norms. But later on, this practice was emerged as following every upper caste and on a broad sense, it was termed as Sanskritization.

sanskritization examples

When Srinivas was in study period in Mysore, he observed that lower caste people were following upper caste rituals like Brahmins wore a sacred thread across their upper body, thus they also started wearing those threads. Likewise, some of the rituals were strongly opposed by other castes, for example drinking alcohol or eating meat was highly discouraged, as a result, lower caste too stopped this practice. It can be seen as culture transmission among the groups to higher their position in the society. Sanskritization was hence seen as the setting up upper caste people as role models for lower castes and they blindly followed their tradition to achieve a social position in the society. With passing time De- Sanskritization also emerged as a phenomenon in which Brahmins adopted lower caste practice, for example, they started taking liquor which was predominantly discouraged in their caste.


  1. It was purely following or can be seen as copying other rituals, norms, beliefs to improve their status in the society.
  2. It was not necessary for lower caste people to follow only Brahmins, but they also followed locally developed and famous castes like Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.
  3. It helped in socio-economic and cultural value transmission in several groups of the society.
  4. It was not only famous for the villages and cities. It emerged in tribal places too where some tribal caste was dominant and others just followed their patterns to achieve a greater hierarchical position in the society.
  5. As discussed above, Sanskritization also efficiently added up a new concept known as De-Sanskritization.


Sanskritization also needed a medium to transmit in the society. There were mainly three modes in which it took place in the society. The four modes are as follows:-

  1. Cultural Model
  2. Varna Model
  3. Local Model

Harold Gould, a famous sociologist remarkably answered the causes of Sanskritization that is it is not practiced only for a noble position in the society. Instead, it can be termed as the challenge taken by lower caste people who have always been deprived of socio-economic facilities.

Sanskritization has an influential effect on society in many ways. For example, they adopted other castes living patterns which gave them liberty to sit and stand before other castes. For example, lower caste people were not keen to keep a clean atmosphere but due to Sanskritization, they started maintaining hygiene. The small changes led to vast things in future. Now the situation is that the untouchable practice is almost abolished from the society.

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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.