Home >> Socio Short Notes >> Sanskritization

Sanskritization

The correlation between rank and privilege on the one hand and its symbols on the other is sufficiently strong that groups of people characteristically seek higher rank simply through addition of the symbols of high status through status emulation. This has been most commonly referred to as 'Sanskritization' which is a term coined by M.N Srinivas (1956) which refers to the adoption by people who are of relatively low status of behaviours and attributes identified in the Sanskrit literary tradition as indicative of high status and as meriting the rewards of high status specifically Brahmanical or priestly status.

Such characteristics are vegetarianism, elaborate ritual, detailed attention to purity, non-violence, celibacy of widows and avoidance of polluting activities, contacts and occupations are included. In a broader sense this process also occurs without the Sanskritic component that is without the literal derivation from classical injunctions recorded in Sanskrit literature. Thus the status attributes of the highly ranked Kshatriya Varna serves as a model for at least as many upwardly mobile groups in India as does the Brahman Varna.