a) the ways in which online social networking sites such as Orkut discuss caste and caste - related ethnic identities, like reservations, inter-caste marriages. b) the involvement and engagement of the middle class youth in these spaces and how it affects their understanding of caste identity .
Caste : A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth.
Ethnicity : An ethnic quality or affiliation resulting from racial or cultural ties.
Youth : Online orkut community member, age of 18-28.
Religion : A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
Online virtual communities : A virtual online community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media- email, internet social network service or instant messages rather than face to face, for social, professional or educational purposes.
Dipankar Gupta in his book “Political sociology in India” gave us a basic idea about caste systems in India, ethnic values and cultural differences.
“ Castes with economic and political power do not think of sanskritizing their style of life but instead re-emphasize their discreet character by highlighting the superiority of their own ideologies, customs, rituals and styles of life.”- Gaurang Sahay, (Hierarchy, difference and the caste system.)
“ Caste has not changed but the potentialities that were always there within stratificatory system are now out in open, and in full view” – Dipankar Gupta, (The certitudes of caste.)
“ Caste never abolishes its own existence. With time, caste moves, it changes, it bends, it transforms and therefore it persists, hence it is best example of elasticity”.- Dr. Suhas Kulkarni, Jaat Navachi (Na sampnari) ghosht.
Pauline Kolenda in her book “ Caste in Contemporary India ”, compared Caste in rural and urban India focusing on Mumbai. Although we are getting urbanized we are not forgetting the caste system. But still there is a characteristic difference in attitude of rural and urban youth towards caste. Caste is an identity in rural India whereas name in urban India. People partition their personal and professional life when Caste issues come into picture (Purity and pollution, etc).