The Caste System

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The Caste System

Dalit (untouchable) children often have limited opportunities in the caste system.

Most Americans believe in social mobility. Typical American children think that they can grow up to become anyone they want — a fire fighter, a brain surgeon, the president of the United States. Even kids from poor families have a chance of getting rich.

Under the ancient caste system in South Asia, though, the idea of social mobility made no sense. People were born into strict social positions called castes, and their children belonged to the same social class. In fact, under the caste system, parents knew the jobs their kids would hold even before the kids were born.

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